Music universally moves us - no matter the age or mental state - from pre-natal infancy to post-Alzheimer’s dementia, and music seems to connect with our brains. “It’s as if we are hard-wired for it,” said Joshua Schrader, CEO with Capital Music Therapy Services.
Neo-natal ICUs now have devices that play music to preemies if they suck on a digital pacifier, and it helps them develop crucial nursing skills to thrive. Elderly dementia patients who have lost the ability to speak, upon hearing a favorite song, can suddenly sing along. Schrader says that same innate connection to music can be used to reach and calm children on the autism spectrum, as he spoke to parents in the Exceptional Family Member Program at ACS March 27.
Some of the clinical observations that Schrader used to underscore music’s power:
♪When two people play music together, their brainwaves begin to synch
♪Music can assist with memory, focus and processing sights and sounds
♪Music can enhance aerobic exercise, and boost physical stimulation
♪Music can regulate a person’s heartbeat
♪Music is used to reduce chronic pain
♪Music lessens anxiety
Schrader contends that too many people have lost interest in music, and he urges everyone to keep the love affair with music as long as possible.
“Kids come to planet Earth pre-wired for this,” Schrader said. “They’re in love with it; it’s natural, it’s right and they do it without prompting, and yet we take that away from them.”
As an adult and a person who has lost that love affair with music – get over yourself. Get back involved in music. Go sing terribly in front of people. Go dance. Go make music. It’s vitally important you do it now. Don’t wait on it,” Schrader stressed.