Over the years there has been a lot written about the positive benefits of listening to music. Does playing Mozart to babies make them smarter? – Many believe so.
Music, and in particular rhythmic chanting has been associated with a relaxed state of mind by all cultures throughout the ages.
Various studies have linked exposure to music to a reduction in depression, an aid to weight loss, an elevation in mood, a reduction in anxiety, improved sleep patterns, the ability to ease pain – the list goes on.
Daniel Levitin, author of ‘This is your brain on music’, recently conducted a study in conjunction with Sonos and Apple. This worldwide study, involving 30,000 people, yielded some extraordinary results.
During the study the households involved did not play or listen to any music out loud for a seven day period. This was followed by a week of music, with the choice of music being left completely up to them. The behavioral differences of those involved over the two weeks was quite extraordinary.
- During the week when music was being played the average distance between household members decreased by 12%.
- On average people spend 4.5 more hours together with music than without.
- With music people were 33% more likely to cook together and 80% more likely to invite people around.
- People are 15% more likely to laugh together.
- They were 18% more likely to say ‘I love you’.
- They were 24% less irritable
- They were 25% more inspired
- There was a 16% improvement in overall positiveness.
- They were 22% more active
- And surprisingly, household chore were 80% easier to complete.
- Even more extraordinary is that 58% of those involved found that food tasted better when music was being played (a note to restaurateurs reading this – this is assuming that the music is not overpowering and that patrons can still comfortably hold a conversation!).
We are living in an age where access to music – of all genres – has never been easier and more affordable.
The sheer please of listening to a piece of music on a good system is obvious, but it is also evident that the benefits go far beyond the instant gratification that music provides.