Dance with me

For those of you who have ever been a teenager or been unfortunate enough to have endured a teen “love story” movie, you will have inevitably witnessed a teen guy or girl “dancing it out” on their bed to some 80’s or 90’s hit track.

As much as this (cinematically) creates an urge in me to gauge my own eyes out, the actuality is, that dancing and listening to specific music is a great mood heightener. I will in fact do this to de-stress myself sometimes, in the odd event of a stressful circumstance in my life.

The acts of dancing and music are much older than most of us realize. Cultures throughout the world since the dawn of time, have used dance and music as tools to tell stories, pass on family traditions and facts, prepare for battle, intimidate the enemy, create unity as a group, celebrate harvests and weddings along with many, many other uses.

Dancing and music are an external expression of internal experiences, and when used properly, can connect the mind, body and spirit; each one expressing itself in beautiful or not so beautiful, but equally perfect, movement, sound, inner thought or emotion.

Want to get smarter and have better qualitative abilities over your emotions? There have been multiple studies that have concluded, long-term learning to play an instrument and or musical involvement will actually increase your brains ability to learn.

Norman M. Weinberger Professor of Neurobiology and Behavior at the University of California states that, long-term musical involvement reaps cognitive rewards–in language skills, reasoning and creativity–and boosts social adjustment. Music exercises the brain. Playing an instrument, for instance, involves vision, hearing, touch, motor planning, emotion, symbol interpretation–all of which activate different brain systems. This may be why some Alzheimer’s patients can perform music long after they have forgotten other things”. et al

This is above and beyond the “Mozart Effect” coined by Dr. Alfred A. Tomatis who was an internationally known otolaryngologist, and inventor.  The “Mozart Effect” which has been continuously misquoted, only showed a temporary increase in “spatial intelligence” lasting 15 minutes or so, the results were mistakenly interpreted as an increase in general IQ. The overlooked part of this scientific debate is the fact that listening to this music with its specific bpm (Beats per minute) and hertz had an actual effect at all.

It is now a well-known fact that music effects our mood, whether from the act of anchored emotions our purely being taken for a ride with the musicians “story”. Either way music’s ability to influence emotions is a valuable or damaging tool, music has such a heavy psychological and physiological impact over us that we can use or be governed by it.

In 1934, an American General George Owen Squire founded a corporation called ‘Muzak’, who marketed music in order increase worker efficiency. By the 1950s, ‘Muzak’ moved on to marketing background music, which they found increased sales in supermarkets, restaurants as well as many other places of business.

Wherever we go, whether we consciously register or not, there is sound and music being played to influence our mood and patterns of behavior. I cast no judgemeent on this fact, I am merely fascinated that so many people are unaware of this practice or its applications. I leave it to you to decide where you sit in this moral debate.

Yet again, Better the devil you know


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