Music can make you literally feel better, professor says
Music can change your mood in seconds and cause you to feel happy and sad.
It can also heal the sick.
According to Dr. Elizabeth York, a professor at Utah State University, it can do all of those things and much more.
Music has a different sound, feel and emotion to each person. Some people country, rock, classical, rap, hip-hop or opera.
What is it about music that makes us feel the way we do? Everyone has a different therapeutic sound that makes us feel at ease. The time of day plays a big role in what kind of mood we are in and what type of music we want to hear.
When we wake up in the morning, do we want to listen to something that is soft and soothing or do we want to listen to something with a little beat to it to wake us up?
"The tempo plays a big role on the listener as well as the mood," said York, a guest lecturer Thursday at Utah State University's Summer Citizen Workshops.
York's lecture was on therapeutic uses of music for older adults. York is the director of the Music Therapy Program at USU. She has a master's of music in music therapy and doctorate in music education from the University of Miami, in Coral Gables, Fla. York is a board-certified music therapist who has worked extensively with children and adults for more than 20 years.
She said music affects the body in many ways, including auditory, peripheral nervous system, autonomic nervous system and limbic system.
Everyone knows that we hear the music, and then it sends a message to our brain. The brain then sends a message to the spinal cord which then makes us clap our hands, stomp our feet, gets us to bounce around. Then comes singing and getting the heart rate up. Finally, come all the emotions that we feel when we hear the music -- remembering where were you when you heard a particular song, who you were with and what you were doing at the time.
"Music gets very personalized. You can talk to someone for hours and hours and get to know that person really well (through discussion of music)," said York.
She finished her talk by asking the audience, which consisted mostly of retirees, the join in singing Always. And everyone did -- twice.
For more information on therapeutic music go to www.Musictherapy.org or call Dr. York at (435) 797-3009.