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Title of Article: Seven Ways Music Benefits Your Health

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there are some of us, but for the most part music is a big part of our lives. Whether its the music
that we listen to on the way to work, while we workout, or the music we hear in a symphony or
film, it can bring up our moods, tell us a story or even bring us down. Music has touched cultures
all over the world since very early times in human history. Have you ever wondered how music
might affect our health?
I think music in itself is healing. Its an explosive expression of humanity. Its something we are
all touched by. No matter what culture were from, everyone loves music. ~ Billy Joel
Personally I like many types of music, but I cant say that I fall in love with a lot of music. It is
usually special bands here and there that make their way through my ears that I tend to love and
stick with for a long time. The beautiful thing is, everyones taste in music is different so no
matter what music you make, youre likely to find someone who will appreciate it. Of course the
music industry favours certain types of music and is designed to not allow indie bands to get
very far, but that is a whole other discussion.
Music is capable of a number of health benefits including lowering stress levels, raising states of
consciousness, changing moods, accessing different states of mind, developing the brain and is
useful in meditation -which has a ton of health benefits.
The fact is, there isnt a single human culture on earth that has lived without music! For example,
native Africans and Americans both used music in the form of chanting for their rituals and
healing ceremonies. In Ancient Greece music was used to ease stress, soothe pain and help with
sleeping patterns. Many have said music heals the soul, and it appears that they were right!
How Music Benefits Our Health
1) Improves visual & verbal skills
Several studies have shown that music education at an early age stimulates the childs brain in a
number of ways that helps to improve verbal skills, communication skills and visual skills.
A study that looked at 4 to 6 year olds who were subject to one month of musical training that
included training in rhythm, pitch, melody, voice and basic musical concepts resulted in
enhanced ability to understand words and explain their meaning. [1]
A study using subjects that were 8 to 11 year olds found that those who were involved in extracurricular music classes were developing higher verbal IQs and their visual ability was greater
than those who were not receiving the training. [2]
Even children as young as one year old who participated in interactive music lessons with their
parents had a greater ability to communicate, smiled more frequently and were showing greater

signs of sophisticated brain responses to music. [3]

2) Keeps an aging brain healthy
Research has shown that having musical training and listening to or playing music in old age can
help keep the brain healthy especially as it ages. Since listening to music is like exercising the
brain, one can expect the benefits of better memory and mental sharpness as they age. [4]
Even people who have some form of brain damage can regain partial or full access to memories
(depending on severity) by listening to music, as listening can help draw on old memories and
neurological patterns due to the fact that the rhythm and sounds of music stay within the core of
the mind for a long time.
3) Music Makes You Happier
As mentioned before, music has the power to do so much. It can make you feel happy, sad,
excited or even pumped up. Listening to music that hits you in a special way causes your brain to
release dopamine which is known as a feel good chemical. It causes us to feel emotions like
happiness, excitement, joy, etc. Listening to music provides us with the same burst of happiness
that we would get from eating a piece of chocolate, sex or certain drugs.
Another study showed that music with a quick tempo played in a major key made people feel
happy, while music with a slow tempo in a minor key more easily led to feelings of sadness.[6]
4) Heartbeat, Pulse Rate & Blood Pressure
We listen to music with our muscles. Nietzsche
Studies have shown that music strengthens the heart and improves the recovery time of patients
who were suffering from heart disease. [7]
Regardless of the genre of music, listening to your favorite music releases endorphins in the
brain that help to improve vascular health. It has been seen that both men and women who
listened to music soon after cardiac surgery were much less anxious and even reported having
less pain as opposed to those who rested quietly.
An observation made at Massachusetts General Hospital, found that heart patients confined to a
bed that listened to music for 30 minutes had lower blood pressure, slower heart rates, and less
distress than those who didnt listen to music.
5) Improves Sleep Quality
Some of the most common things to interfere with sleep are stress and anxiety (heart rates.)
Since music has the ability to affect both in a positive way, research has found that listening to
music at various times promotes better sleep patterns for people and even created more restful
sleeps. In some cases music might even be able to be used to effectively treat insomnia. [8]
6) Boosts Your Immune System & Reduces Pain

Research has shown that music is capable of reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol,
which is responsible for weakening the immune system, increasing risk of heart disease,
interfering with learning and memory, lowering bone density, blood pressure, etc. [9] Research
found that by listening to just 50 minutes of uplifting music the levels of antibodies in the human
body increases. While different types of music were not studied, it is important one listens to
music they enjoy as personal preference of music does have an effect on overall physical effects.
7) Reduces Depression & Anxiety
Researchers from Drexel University found that cancer patients who either listened to music or
worked with a music therapist experienced a reduction in anxiety, had better blood pressure
levels and improved moods. Music can have positive effects on the psyche, mood, pain and
quality of life as well.
The evidence suggests that music interventions may be useful as a complementary treatment to
people with cancer, Joke Bradt

Step #1 Paraphrase article

Overall, this article states that the beneficiary aspects of music on an individual's health
includes: improvement in visual and verbal skills, keeping an aging brain healthy, emotional
health, heart rate and blood pressure, and mental illness.

Step #2: Explicating

State the main point of the text in one or two sentences: The main point of the
article includes portraying the benefits music has, in general, on ones health.
Elaborate on what you have paraphrased: In other words, music has a drastic
beneficial effect on ones overall health. It can calm one, relaxing their pulse and heart
beat rate, improve brain performance, and assist with mental illness.
What is the mood of the text? The mood is indifferent and a tad bit cheerful.
Describe the authors tone. Indifferent.
Give examples of the meaning by tying it to concrete situations in the real world:
A real world example of this would be listening to a sad song that you relate to when in a
depressed state in order to gain relief. It shows that music is a healthy release when going
through hardship in life.
Generate metaphors, analogies, pictures, or diagrams of the basic thesis to connect
it to other meanings you already understand. Even the grasshoppers create versions of
their own music to assist with aspects in life.
How can I relate this information to my own life? This information proves that

when going through fits of depression or stressful situations music is a beneficial

medicine. Also, creating a habit of listening to music throughout life can promote a
healthy brain.
Step #3: Analyzing the Logic of What we are Reading
One important skill for understanding an essay, article or chapter is through the analysis of the
parts of the authors reasoning. Once you have done this, you can then evaluate the authors
reasoning using intellectual standards. Here is a template to follow.
Overall, this article grants no specific evidence or studies to prove its claims. It uses information
from a study but then does not give specific details of how the study was run, just vague
information. This leaves the validity of the article to be questionable. It seems mostly that the
article is based off of personal experience or opinion, but even that is not explained explicitly.
Due to most people having personal experience with music, they can relate to this article and
agree with claims, which is why the article is easy to agree with without solid proof.
Title of Article: The Health Benefits of Listening to Music
Article Web Address:
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If youre a music lover, you already know that turning on the tunes can help calm your
nerves, make stress disappear, pump up your energy level during a workout, bring back
old memories, as well as prompt countless other emotions too varied to list.
Even if youre not a music aficionado, per se, there are compelling reasons why you may want to
become one, which were recently revealed by a series of new research.
Music Prompts Numerous Brain Changes Linked to Emotions and Abstract Decision Making

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simple auditory
processing. Music triggers activity in the nucleus accumbens, a part of your brain that
releases the feel-good chemical dopamine and is involved in forming expectations.
At the same time, the amygdala, which is involved in processing emotion, and the prefrontal
cortex, which makes possible abstract decision-making, are also activated, according to new
research published in the journal Science.
Based on the brain activity in certain regions, especially the nucleus accumbens, captured by an
fMRI imager while participants listened to music, the researchers could predict how much

money the listeners were willing to spend on previously unheard music. As you might suspect,
songs that triggered activity in the emotional and intellectual areas of the brain demanded a
higher price.
Interestingly, the studys lead author noted that your brain learns how to predict how different
pieces of music will unfold using pattern recognition and prediction, skills that may have been
key to our evolutionary progress. Time reported:
These predictions are culture-dependent and based on experience: someone raised on rock or
Western classical music wont be able to predict the course of an Indian raga, for example, and
vice versa.
But if a piece develops in a way thats both slightly novel and still in line with our brains
prediction, we tend to like it a lot. And that, says [lead researcher] Salimpoor, is because weve
made a kind of intellectual conquest.
Music may, in other words, tap into a brain mechanism that was key to our evolutionary
progress. The ability to recognize patterns and generalize from experience, to predict whats
likely to happen in the future in short, the ability to imagine is something humans do far
better than any other animals. Its what allowed us (aided by the far less glamorous opposable
thumb) to take over the world.

Why Music Makes Us Feel United

So far weve covered that music is involved in both emotional and intellectual centers of your
brain, but music also has an, almost uncanny, ability to connect us to one another.
Separate research published this month showed one reason for why this might be. When listening
to four pieces of classical music they had never heard before, study participants brains reacted in
much the same way. Areas of the brain involved in movement planning, memory and attention
all had similar activation patterns when the participants listened to the same music, which

suggests we may each experience music in similar ways.

The studys lead author noted:
"We spend a lot of time listening to music -- often in groups, and often in conjunction with
synchronized movement and dance Here, we've shown for the first time that despite our
individual differences in musical experiences and preferences, classical music elicits a
highly consistent pattern of activity across individuals in several brain structures including
those involved in movement planning, memory and attention."
Co-author Daniel Levitin, PhD, expanded:
"It's not our natural tendency to thrust ourselves into a crowd of 20,000 people, but for a
Muse concert or a Radiohead concert we'll do it There's this unifying force that comes
from the music, and we don't get that from other things."
Music Relieves Anxiety Better Than Drugs and Benefits Premature Babies

If you want a more concrete example of musics powers, a meta-analysis by Levitin and
colleagues found some striking benefits of music after reviewing 400 studies. Among the data
was one study that revealed listening to music resulted in less anxiety and lower cortisol levels
among patients about to undergo surgery than taking anti-anxiety drugs. Other evidence showed
music has an impact on antibodies linked to immunity and may lead to higher levels of bacteriafighting immune cells.
Still more research revealed that playing music in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU)
improved the health of premature babies with respiratory distress or sepsis.6 When parents sang
to their babies, or sounds mimicking those in the womb were played, numerous benefits
occurred, including changes in heart rates, sucking behavior and parents stress levels. The
researchers noted:
Entrained with a premature infants observed vital signs, sound and lullaby may improve

feeding behaviors and sucking patterns and may increase prolonged periods of quietalert states.
Parent-preferred lullabies, sung live, can enhance bonding, thus decreasing the stress parents
associate with premature infant care.
Taken together, the latest research makes a strong case for using music as a therapeutic tool for
babies and adults alike.
Why Music Should be a Part of Your Workouts, Too

Many people instinctively don a headset linked to their favorite music when hitting the
gym, which makes sense since certain types of music can motivate you to run faster, or keep
going even though you're fatigued, giving you a better workout. Additionally, research has
shown that listening to music while exercising boosted cognitive levels and verbal fluency
skills in people diagnosed with coronary artery disease (coronary artery disease has been
linked to a decline in cognitive abilities). Signs of improvement in verbal fluency areas
more than doubled after listening to music compared to that of the non-music session.
Listening to music while exercising can also improve your performance, increasing your
endurance by 15 percent, and your movement will likely follow the tempo of the song. For
instance, in one study when the music's tempo slowed, the subjects' exertion level reduced as
well. And when the tempo was increased, their performance followed suit.
Your body may be simply responding to the beat on a more or less subconscious level, but the
type and tempo of the music you choose while working out may also influence your conscious

What Music Is Best?

When a song gets you energized and rearing to go, you'll know it, and these are the types of
songs you probably naturally add to your workout playlist. For that matter, when a song makes
you feel relaxed, eases your anxiety or pain levels, or boosts your mood, youll know it too, as

selecting music is a highly personal and highly intuitive process. In other words, only you
know the best music for you, and that will inevitably change not only day to day with your
mood but also over time with the different chapters of your life.
For now, technology has given us a simple way to harness the power of music by allowing you to
create different playlists for exercising, relaxing, working and other important aspects of your
day so you can instantly access the right music for your mood or activity. You can also listen to
music over Internet radio using free services like Pandora, which will actually create stations for
you based on your musical tastes.
Whatever method you choose, making music part of your lifestyle is a simple yet powerful
way to enhance your health and your life.

Step #1 Paraphrase article

The articles states that any kind of music can assist with mental and physical health greatly. It
assists with our emotions and works as motivational service for workouts. It also unites people
creating a sense of community in various ways.
Step #2: Explicating
State the main point of the text in one or two sentences: To convey health benefits
of music.
Elaborate on what you have paraphrased: In other words, music is proven to assist
people in many ways emotionally, mentally, and physically.
What is the mood of the text? Motivated.
Describe the authors tone. Indifferent.
Give examples of the meaning by tying it to concrete situations in the real world:
For example, when working out in a gym music is usually played over the microphones
or you can see many individuals wearing headphones and listening to music due to
beneficial effects.
Generate metaphors, analogies, pictures, or diagrams of the basic thesis to connect
it to other meanings you already understand. Listening to music can be like drinking an
energy drink during a run.
How can I relate this information to my own life? I can utilize the evidence given
about physical and mental health and implement music into my life.

Step #3: Analyzing the Logic of What we are Reading

One important skill for understanding an essay, article or chapter is through the analysis of the
parts of the authors reasoning. Once you have done this, you can then evaluate the authors
reasoning using intellectual standards.

Overall, the information given by the website seems valid and contains valid sources. Although,
the authors background and qualifications are not displayed, the information is ambiguous
enough to be taken seriously yet not completely or as a definite solution to problems.