Music in Relation to Wellness
Written by: Zachary Ong | SRMC Student [Bachelor of Music (Honours) Music Performance – Level 6]
Many of us are heavily reliant on using music as a tool to help us cope with the stress and anxiety that we experience on a day-to-day basis, whether it being at work or school. Thus, it is no surprise that music is often linked with the subject of wellness. Various methods such as implementing the use of music therapy, creating music wellness programs for employees in a corporate setting and also the organizing of group music activities, are highly beneficial in decreasing stress and improving mental health, which serves as outlets to help people cope with their stress.
For example, music therapy exists and it is proven that it helps to benefit people in various ways. Not only does music therapy boost work productivity and performance, it greatly benefits combating stress and depressive thoughts, improves communication and team building skills with our co-workers which can ultimately lead to an increase in employee retention rates. Music also plays a pivotal role in promoting creative thinking, improving our focus and increasing our attention span. This enables us to function more efficiently on cognitive tasks. There is a wide range of music therapy techniques that are available for one’s selection, many of which do not require a higher level of musical understanding and expertise in playing an instrument. In addition, individuals can also opt to go for either the aural or practical hands-on route. For example, one can choose to engage and sign up for music therapy sessions that includes drumming, listening to live or recorded music, playing percussive instruments such as the tambourine or even pick up relaxation techniques that use music, such as progressive muscle relaxation and deep breathing.
Music, when used as a group activity, can also be a great boon in the effort to promote wellness amongst people. Not only does participating in group music activities enable us to more clearly communicate and express our feelings, it also helps in fostering empathy towards others. After all, the general idea of making music in a group setting is to allow us to centre our emotions and be present in the moment, while simultaneously creating a sense of connection between participants. Studies have shown that people who are caught in the midst of music-making and listening have their cortisol levels significantly lowered, which fits in line with the ultimate goal of using music as a therapeutic means to reduce stress and anxiety levels in both the mind and body and promote general health and wellness.
In conclusion, with the increase in awareness of the importance that music can play in benefiting the overall well-being of our earth’s population, it is of no surprise that many are turning to music-related programs and group activities as an outlet to release stress, zone out and take their mind off the hustle and bustle of daily life while being able to seek refuge and a sense of safety in their own space.
Article Vetted By: Jeremy Koh | SRMC Academic Manager
- “Corporate Wellness and Team Building.” JB Music Therapy, November 9, 2020. https://www.jbmusictherapy.com/session/music-therapy-for-corporate-wellness/
- “Music Wellness Programs: Merging Self-Responsible Strategies.” RSS. Accessed May 28, 2022. https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/music-wellness-programs-merging
- “What Is Music Therapy and How Does It Work?” PositivePsychology.com, May 23, 2022. https://positivepsychology.com/music-therapy/
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