Using Music for Behavior Modification & Learning.
Music can have a profound effect on people and different types of music can affect our emotions in different ways. I personally know that if I listen to jazz and blues music that I will have an emotional reaction that is different than if I’m listening to classical music. Music can also have a tremendous effect on our energy levels. Some music just automatically revs you up while other music can put us into a relaxed, ‘chilled out’ mood.
Music as a Therapeutic Tool:
The concept of music as a healing influence to affect physical health and behavior can be traced back thousands of years. According to the American Music Therapy Association, therapeutic music began as a 20th century discipline after the two World Wars when musicians visited hospitals to play for the thousands of injured and emotionally traumatized veterans. Doctors and nurses noticed the patients’ positive responses to music on both the physical and emotional level.
As a therapeutic tool, music aids persons with mental health needs by alleviating stress and anxiety and improving neural pathways so people can more easily explore their personal feelings to achieve a sense of control over their lives and make positive changes in lifestyle, work environment, and mood.
Using Music to Teach Foreign Languages:
If you’ve read any of my other articles you’ll know that I’ve always been extremely curious in my life. In the 1970s I was Chief of Staff for one of the largest teaching/therapy institutes in the world which specialized in subconscious conditioning. And even though I had a successful practice and many on a waiting list to see me, my search for ways to improve my process was always in the forefront of my mind.
I remember reading a magazine about a course being offered to teach and certify people who wanted to become instructors in using music to help people learn a foreign language. It was being taught by Dr. Georgi Lozanov, a Bulgaria medical doctor who specialized in psychiatry and psychotherapy. I really didn’t want to take weeks out of my schedule and fly from California to Maryland but I just couldn’t resist the possibility of incorporating music into my process which I determined would be a powerful asset in making people more susceptible to positive thoughts and ideas.
Much of the class was taught in French, with the aid of music playing in the background. By the way, I didn’t speak French but oddly enough I actually started to understand French from doing nothing but listening to the teacher talk to us in French.
Changing Behavior With the Use of Music:
Baroque music was the kind used by Dr. Lozanov and the type I was exposed to during my studies at his Institute. This music brings about vast changes in a person’s cognitive and physical abilities.
The big mistake that most therapists make is thinking that if they use what most people consider is a relaxing/calming type of music, the mind’s acceptance of positive suggestions will increase. At best, playing just any type of relaxing/calming music will only have a temporary effect.
It has been well researched that the music has to be of a certain type. Through my own research I have found that it is also necessary to fit the music to the individual’s learning type. I will go into more detail about learning types in an upcoming article but for the time being, let’s just stick with the subject of music.
Slow musical rhythms around 60 beats per minute, which corresponds to the resting heart beat and the body’s natural rhythms, are especially useful for relaxation and giving the brain an opportunity to process information more easily. It’s organic!
Physiological Changes Attributed to the Use of Special Music:
1. Blood pressure is lowered; heartbeat slows.
2. The fast, beta waves of a fully awake individual gradually decrease while the alpha waves of a fully relaxed but alert individual increase.
3. The right and left hemispheres of the brain synchronize which stimulates increased productivity of the brain.
Learning, Physical and Emotional Improvements:
1. People who listened to special types of music over time functioned well with less sleep because the mind and body were being continuously recharged through the music.
2. People were able to study more efficiently and more easily learn complex graphic skills.
3. People were able to reduce stress and anxiety; cut their dependency of alcohol and cigarettes and function more calmly in stressful road traffic conditions.
Next time you listen to music of any type, think about how it makes you feel. Try experimenting with different types of music, even ones you may not normally gravitate toward. You just may be surprised by the result. My personal development program uses combined methodology to help you achieve success in different areas of your life. It is primarily based upon my Left-Right Brain Learning process with subconscious conditioning which is enhanced by my using specific and proven music.