Readers Digest – BY LAUREN GELMAN
The right notes can dampen appetite, relax blood vessels, and improve brain focus. Read on.
MUSIC CLASSES MAKE KIDS MORE COOPERATIVE
Preschoolers who sang and played instruments as a group were a whopping 30 times more likely to help others in subsequent tasks that measured their helpfulness and problem-solving abilities, compared with a control group of kids who listened to a story, British researchers reported in 2013. The study focused on pre-school aged children playing well known children’s music as a group. As a whole, music appears to be more stimulating for their developing brains with effects lasting for decades.
MUSIC THERAPY MAY HELP TEENS COPE WITH CANCER
Teenagers undergoing cancer treatment who joined a music therapy program in the hospital showed improved coping skills and more resilience when compared to a control group of patients who received audio books. The patients, who were undergoing stem cell transplants, worked with music therapists to write song lyrics and produce videos. “Making music videos allows these patients to project their feelings through another outlet,” Shawna Grissom, director of child life at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, told Health Day. “It gives them a sense of control, a medium in which they can express themselves.”
PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT MAY PROTECT BRAIN SHARPNESS LATER IN LIFE
The more years’ middle-aged and older adults spent playing musical instruments as children, the faster their brains responded to speech sounds during an experiment, according to a study in the Journal of Neuroscience.
LISTENING TO MUSIC LOWERS ANXIETY
According to an Ohio State University study, ICU patients who listened to their favorite music lowered their anxiety by about one third. Not just any music, but familiar, comforting pieces.
MOOD MUSIC MAKES YOU EAT LESS
When Hardees’s gave one of its restaurants a fine-dining makeover—including soft lighting and jazz—diners ate about 18 percent less and reported enjoying their food more, according to a Cornell study in the journal Psychological Reports.
GOOD MUSIC SOOTHES AND RELAXES YOUR BLOOD VESSELS
Listening to their favorite music for 30 minutes a day improved blood vessel health in heart disease patients, Dutch researchers reported at the 2013 European Society of Cardiology Congress. Patients who listened to music while exercising experienced the greatest cardiovascular benefits.