Wednesday, 26 August 2015

New study shows that singing and attending classical music concerts physically reduces stress

Feeling stressed? A recent study shows that a trip to the symphony might be just what you need! The Royal College of Music's Center of Performance Science has proven that classical music physically reduces stress. To anyone who has set time aside to indulge in classical music, this makes perfect sense. But this is the first time this has been studied "live" in such detail. The research was compiled from saliva samples, ECG monitor readings and questionnaires gathered from 15 singers and 49 audience members at a concert given by Eric Whitacre and his Singers at London's Union Chapel in March 2015. It has been shown that the audience members experienced a reduction in levels of the stress hormones cortisol and cortisone. Via / The Guardian  The same research was done on a group of singers. During rehearsals, singers showed the same decrease in stress hormones. However, when it came time to the performance itself, it showed an increase in stress hormones. I would think that most musicians can relate and identify with these findings. A musical performance might not always be considered stressful, but there is a good amount of adrenaline being released among other things. When you're performing music, you're really putting yourself out there in a somewhat vulnerable way. Even seasoned veterans of the stage have a spike in blood pressure and a slightly faster heart rate moments before walking into the limelight. As you mature as a performer, you learn to embrace the extra energy and harness it to your advantage. Aaron Williamon, Professor of Performance Science at Royal College of Music said: 'This is the first time participation in a cultural event has been shown to have significant psychobiological effects, and the implications are hugely exciting, particularly when taking into account previous research by the Centre for Performance Science which links reduction in stress hormone activity with increases in immune function. This preliminary study provides several new avenues of further investigation of how making and experiencing music can impact on health and wellbeing.' Via / The Guardian  The Neuroscience of Drumming: Researchers Discover the Secrets of Drumming & The Human Brain | Open Culture Via An old musicians joke goes there are three kinds of drummers in the worldthose who can count and those who cant. But perhaps there is an even more global divide. Perhaps there are three kinds of people in the worldthose who can drum and those who cant. Perhaps, as the promotional video above from GE suggests, drummers have fundamentally different brains than the rest of us. Music has big brain benefits compared to other leisure pursuits Via Musical instrumental training, when compared to other activities, may reduce the effects of memory decline and cognitive aging (Medical Xpress) -- It turns out mom was right. Music lessons are good for you, and those benefits may last a lifetime. This is the second study published by Hanna-Pladdy, which confirms and refines findings from an original study published in Neuropsychology in 2011 that revealed that musicians [...]

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