Music the food of healing for all
“If music be the food of love, play on .... ”
And even as William Shakespeare wrote this in Act One, Scene One of his play Twelfth Night, little did he probably realise that 500 years later music would be not only the food of love, it would also be the food of healing, the food of intelligence — and the food for all peoples around the world.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, have found that receiving music therapy can significantly lessen a patient’s need for opioids and other painkillers after invasive surgery.
The researchers tested 161 patients — 49 in the music group and 112 in a control group.
After their surgery, both groups were offered painkillers intravenously at doses requested by the patient. Of those engaged in music therapy, 86 per cent avoided the painkillers compared to only 26 per cent of the control group (heads up, Good Health Whanganui).
A further study showed that structured music lessons significantly enhanced children’s cognitive abilities, including language-based reasoning, short-term memory and planning.
Music lessons also reduced inhibition, leading to improved academic performance, a report from Vrije Universiteit of Amsterdam says.
In the study, 147 Dutch six year olds were divided into music, visual arts and control groups, and monitored for two and a half years.
The children in the music group sang, listened to music and played an instrument of their choice one to two hours a week during regular classroom time.
Compared to the control group, they demonstrated improved verbal IQ and reasoning skills, and a greater ability to plan, organise and complete tasks, as well as improved academic achievement. Children given structured visual art lessons showed improvements in visual and spatial memory compared to the control group. [Heads up, teachers and parents!]
Wanganui has long been one of the most musical and artistic centres in New Zealand and this continues today. There are superb musical opportunities in the city from modern music through jazz and opera to excellent elementary and secondary school programs, and musical theatre groups such as AmDram.
Find a music teacher, whatever instrument your child desires to play, and the results will be positive. It might be Brass Wanganui, it might be the Pipe Band, it may be a rock group, but all play their parts in the development of the participating person. To quote Celtic Thunder, the Irish folk group,
“All God’s creatures got a place in the choir,
Some sing low and some sing higher”
So find that place and fly.
Music therapy Led Zeppelin style ... probably improves IQ, reduces inhibition and gets you off painkillers.