7 Health Benefits of Listening to Classical Music
Studies show listening to Bach, Beethoven, Mozart and the other classical music composers is more than a pleasant esthetic experience; it has multiple effects that boost physical, mental and emotional wellness.
I remember a piano teacher in the ‘70s telling me about a study that involved exposing plants to classical and rock music. When classical music was played, the plants grew toward the source, as if they couldn’t get enough of it. In contrast, when rock music was played, they leaned away from the source, as if trying to escape. It turns out that the results from this early study were a harbinger of what research would find about classical music in the succeeding decades. Here are some advantages you can expect when you listen to it.
1. Lower Blood Pressure
A 2004 investigation published in the British Journal of Health Psychology observed the effect of classical, jazz and pop music on the blood pressure of participants undergoing stress. While the classical music reduced blood pressure, the jazz and pop music didn’t. The authors said classical music might help the heart recover from stress.
2. Improved Brainpower
In a 2001 study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, participants who listened to a Mozart sonata for 10 minutes scored eight to nine points higher on a cognitive test immediately afterward. The music boosted the brain’s spatial temporal reasoning, which involves understanding of how items fit into a space. Also, listening to music in general has even been found to help prevent cognitive decline in the elderly. You can read about the study behind this revelation in our article Music Really is Medicine…For the Brain.
3. Better Sleep
Research published in 2008 in the Journal for Advanced Nursing tested two interventions on individuals with sleep complaints: listening to classical music for 45 minutes before bedtime and listening the same amount of time to an audiobook. The results were compared to a control group who didn’t listen to either. Only the participants who heard the music had improved sleep quality. The scientists concluded classical music was a safe, inexpensive method of treating insomnia.
4. Less Pain
In 2015, the Arthritis Foundation reported on a study conducted at the Florida Atlantic University College of Nursing in Boca Raton. It found participants with chronic arthritis who listened to slow-tempo classical music experienced less pain. Other research shows music in general, not specifically classical music, can alleviate pain.
5. Reduced Stress
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Clinical Nursing found pregnant women who listened to classical music had less stress and anxiety after two weeks. In 2015, a study conducted by the Royal College of Music’s Centre for Performance Science discovered that attending a classical music concert lowered levels of the stress hormones cortisone and cortisol. Research in 2000 published in the Journal of Behavioral Medicine showed listening to classical music induced feelings of relaxation and lowered heart rate.
6. Raised Productivity
A background of baroque classical music increased the diagnostic efficiency and accuracy of radiologists, according to research presented at the 2009 American Roentgen Ray Society Annual Meeting in Boston. The authors said other studies involving this type of music indicate it improves concentration and attentiveness.
7. Elevated Mood
In 2010, scientists in Mexico treated patients with mild to moderate depression with a 50-minute daily program of listening to classical music. Of the approximately 39 individuals undergoing the intervention, 29 received an improvement in their depression symptoms. Moreover, earlier research shows listening to music can increase levels of the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is often deficient in depression patients.
Although some of the mysteries that underlie the benefits of classical music have been uncovered, others are yet to be unlocked. Any enthusiast of this type of music will tell you that it touches the heart, releasing the spirit to soar to higher realms. Regardless of exactly how it works its magic, it’s apparent that something about it is uniquely healthful.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.