I read two blogs recently on new studies that use music to heal. The first was written by Ann Mullen on the power of music in transforming the lives of Alzheimer's patients. The video in her post shows an elderly man who has not communicated in years. He is in an institution, now, but he loved music when he was younger. As part of the research he is given a set of headphones so he can listen to some of the music he had once enjoyed.
His transformation is amazing. He starts humming along and then singing a little. When they take the headphones off, he answers questions about the music, reminisces about his experiences and even names a few entertainers. It's amazing.
The second post is from Roy Ackerman. It outlines a study done in the neo-natal ward of Beth Israel Hospital. The researchers are working with very premature infants, using music to stabilize their vital signs, thus avoiding more invasive methods. A number of sounds and songs were used. Some imitated the in utero environment and others were just lullabies. The researchers found that for the most part the lullabies suggested by the parents and even sung by the parents were the most effective in calming the child and hastening its development.
I wonder if we listen to music more when we are under stress as a way of countering the stress. I don't listen to music as much as I would like to, perhaps I should do more. Yesterday I did make some time to listen on YouTube to a few entertainers that were reviewed in the paper. I also went back to a few favourites and found an old folk song that I had never heard - The Broom of the Cowdenknowes.
For some reason I can't embed it, sorry.
Have a musical day!!