How Music Can Resolve Trebles

Nathan Gonzalez, Staff Writer

In today’s society, many individuals such as parents have a huge problem with the music that is played on the radio today. Parents call this music crude and meaningless; however, this music, which can be seen as disruptive, provides many benefits. In fact, this same harsh music has been proven to heal patients suffering from mental problems, and it can improve mental health. 

Dementia is a mental disorder that affects one’s ability to remember events in their lifetime. This is an illness that affects many elder individuals, and there is currently no cure; however, there are certain factors that can help bring back the fading memory of these patients. It has been proven that sentimental music that a patient has previous memories associated with can bring back memories that were thought to have been lost. 

After seeing this effect, The Roth Project was born. This project took the results seen from music and applied them to their patients. As a result, the distribution of music devices such as iPods became very prevalent for dementia patients. The iPods contained music from the patient’s life which was used to rekindle the minds of the dementia patients. According to the Alzheimer’s association, “Surveys were disseminated to caregivers of patients with diagnosed or suspected dementia who were enrolled in the Roth Project. A majority of patients enrolled in the program lived in residential facilities. The survey contained six questions inquiring about patients’ use of and reaction (positive or negative) to the iPod and music. Seventy-nine completed surveys were returned. 

All but one caregiver were satisfied or very satisfied with the program and most (94%) believed that listening to music was liked by the patient. Personalized music was observed to improve mood in 78% of patients, worsen mood in 4% of patients, and have no effect in 18% of patients. In cases where improvement was reported, the most common benefits endorsed by caregivers were: increased overall happiness (71%), decreased anxiety (68%), increased positive emotional expression (55%), decreased depression (36%), increased positive interactions (34%), and increased energy/arousal (34%).” (2016)

Another example of music healing patients can be found in Calculi patients. According to Elif, “Calculi in the urinary tract is a common disorder and affects nearly 12% of the population worldwide.” (2018) The side effects of this condition can be haematuria, renal colic, vomiting, renal failure, and nausea. While there are many combats for this disorder, the most common treatment is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) as a result of its reliability and its low risk. The only downside to this treatment is the cost and patients experiencing pain and stress after the procedure. According to Bannin DWJ, “Therefore, nonpharmacological options in pain management such as patient education, music, hypnosis, relaxation training, distraction, biofeedback, humor, massage, aromatherapy, reflexology, acupuncture, therapeutic touch, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation are regarded as new ways to counter the side effects of ESWL.” (2016) Out of all of these methods used, music was shown to be the most impactful due to it providing patients with an escape and tranquility for patients. 

Music can also provide an outlet for individuals to understand their emotions and provide a safe haven. This can be shown through the number of students and teachers that dedicate their lives to something that they love. According to LFHS band director, Ms. Mejia, “I’m currently a high school band director. I chose this profession because I’ve enjoyed music for as long as I can remember, both listening to it and later, making it in my elementary music class and throughout my years in middle school and high school band. As I approached my senior year and was thinking about what I would study in college, the idea came to mind that I can combine my love of music and helping others by becoming a music teacher.” Music can be listened to through any scenario to help you go through a tough. According to Ms. Mejia, “I believe music has become a sort of therapy, and sometimes escape, for me because if I’m ever feeling down, listening to something that expresses my emotions can help give the sense that I’m not as alone as I may feel with what I’m dealing with at the time. On the other hand, listening to something upbeat can have an energizing effect, and relaxing music can help me wind down after a long day.”

Before you dismiss someone else’s music choice keep in mind how that music can impact that person’s life. Music is something that affects everyone differently no matter if there are you like the lyrics or not. Music provides a different experience for everyone. Perhaps instead you should give their music a chance. According to Ms. Mejia, “Don’t be afraid to try listening to different types of music! (…) Like a book without pictures, music without lyrics allows you to interpret a song in a way unique to you.”