Effects of Music Lessons on the Intelligence

One of the first abilities that is enhanced by music is creativity. Studies on children have shown that they paint more creatively, if they simultaneously listen to music. The visual and space orientation capacities have been shown to improve for a short while (10-15 minutes) after listening to music; this is a part of the Mozart effect. It is believed that intelligence levels increase by listening to Mozart’s compositions, hence the name particular name of this effect.

However, from merely listening to further studying music, the latter step is considerably important, and consequently the results can be observed. Simple listening differs significantly from the actual learning process of playing an instrument or singing.
In the process of learning music, the brain modifies and actually enlarges within certain areas that are connected with this particular task. Several studies (Pascual-Leone, 2001) and brain scans have revealed that a musician’s brains is different; for example a piano player has got more gray matter in the region that controls the finger movements.

In the study named “The Effects of Musical Training on Structural Brain Development”, several scientists namely Krista L. Hyde, Alan C. Evans (from Montreal Neurological Institute, McGill University), Jason Lerch (Mouse Imaging Centre, Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Gottfried Schlaug, Andrea Norton, Marie Forgeard (from the Department of Neurology, Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory, Beth Israel Deaconess (Medical Center and Harvard Medical School), and Ellen Winner (from the Department of Psychology, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA), have brought relevant insight regarding how music really helps to develop our brain, and successively our IQ. They investigated the structural changes that occur in the brain as a result of 15 months of instrumental music teaching program that was conducted for young children; they were compared with another group of children that did not have any musical training.

As expected, the former group showed improved finger movement and rhythm related tasks. However, the tasks that did not involve musical knowledge remained the same. The gray matter development has also been observed in areas other than those directly connected with music, namely, hearing and finger movement. The complex process of learning produces growth in other parts of the brain, and these facts lead to the idea that long-term programs of brain training may help neuron growth in children. This is particularly relevant for those with developmental problems, as well as for grownups with neurological conditions.

Musicians generally have more gray matter (Schlaug et. al., 2005) as compared to non-musicians, and he also showed that children who play instruments have a significant increase in the gray matter quantity. When professional and amateur musicians are compared, it is clearly revealed that the former type who actually practice twice as much have a greater brain development, than the amateurs (Gaser and Schlaug, 2003).
Studies conducted on musicians and non-musicians explain a diversity of differences, some notable and some statistically proven. A testing on cognitive tasks (Schellenberg, 2006) shows that the musicians usually do better than their non-musical peers, when it comes to cognitive tasks. Also, increased memory levels have been noticed in musically trained children within ages between 4 – 6, when compared to the non-musical children of the same age.

The list of tasks where it has been observed that musically trained people perform better (Schellenberg, 2006, and Patel and Iverson, 2007) is:

  • vocabulary
  • math
  • reading
  • verbal memory
  • space orientation skills
  • phonemic awareness.

A study by E. Glenn Schellenberg (2006) shows that musically trained school children got better results on IQ tests. Several intellectual abilities are connected to music learning, and seem to have a beneficial influence in developing musicians’ memory in areas that are connected to fluid intelligence like the speed of processing, verbal comprehension, working memory, and perceptual organization.

Information About Spinets

A spinet is very popular version of a keyboard, such as a smaller piano or an organ. These are primarily known for their unusual angle of the strings used in the construction of the instrument. In this article, we shall study about the history, making, parts, and working of this harpsichord.

Pianos are available in many varieties. You can find Concert-Grand, Semi-Concert, Baby Grand, Horizontal, Classic-Upright, Studio, and Spinet pianos.

What are Spinets?
Spinets are musical instruments that belong to the harpsichord, piano, or organ family. Although the term spinet has been used to describe any sort of harpsichord, it is more accurate to use this term only for those instruments which are small, have one keyboard, one string for each note which are perpendicular to their respective keys. The unique feature of a spinet is that, unlike a harpsichord, it has a small soundboard with strings that are angled at 30 degrees to the keyboard towards the right. Due to its small size, a spinet can easily fit in a small home. It usually has few tones in the upper notes, and a weak overall sound.

History of Spinet Pianos

Upright Spinet Piano
In the 1920s, the sales of large pianos suddenly dropped with the invention and mass production of phonographs and radios. Also, with the Great Depression of the 1930s, most piano making companies had to shut down. In such a setting, a new and small version of the piano was created in 1936, called the spinet. With its small size and price, it was instantly popular with most of the populace. Larger pianos were considered to be old-fashioned, and were replaced with the spinets. The Acrosonic Spinet became one of the most popular models in production.

Spinets were available in a few variations, such as octave spinets, which pitched at a higher octave than normal; bentside spinets, which looked like a twisted harpsichord; English spinets; and 5-octave spinets. After the Second World War, imports and the increasing popularity of guitars affected the production of all kinds of pianos, and although the spinet was still popular with the public, technicians and piano tuners disliked this instrument, because even the smallest repairs turned into a long task, which required removing all the connecting rods and keys and refitting them afterwards. For this reason, spinets gradually declined in number. Nowadays, people prefer to use electric pianos instead.

Action Parts of Spinet Pianos

Keys of a Spinet Harpsichord
The major action parts of a spinet piano are the bridle tapes, hammer shanks, flange screws, hammer butts, damper levers, upright jacks, and jack springs. However, it is difficult to find these parts in stores nowadays, although one might have better luck searching for them online.

While most harpsichords have 2 – 3 sets of strings, spinets have one set. The casing of a spinet is always smaller than that of a regular piano, with a shorter top. Due to this size, the strings are quite short, leading to a lower quality in music, especially for the deeper notes. Also, the small size of spinets led to the addition of drop action keys, which would strike the strings directly, leading to sharper sounds. The mechanism of drop action keys makes the equipment very cramped, making it a little difficult to play. These disadvantages make a spinet a strict no-no for professional piano teachers and serious students.

The average dimensions of a vertical spinet piano is approximately 24 inches in width, 60 inches in length, and 40 inches in height. The weight of a spinet piano with these measurements would be around 300 pounds. As such, this instrument is a good choice as a family instrument if the budget and space is limited.

Tips to Freestyle Rap

There are many styles and genres of music, and freestyle rap is one of the most notable. In order to know to freestyle rap well, you should have a good understanding of words; the ability to put them into songs, tunes, and rhythm; and a good knowledge of beats.

What is Freestyle Rap

Freestyle rap is an aspect of rap music wherein the rapper makes a verbal rhyming poetry and presents it in a song. The main thing to ponder on is that the words are not pre-written. The rapper just makes sentences with rhyming words on the spot. The rapper has to think about the next words and lines when he is singing a particular line. This is the primary reason why it is believed to be the toughest style of composing songs, as it may take years for you to master this art.

How to Freestyle Rap

Increase Your Vocabulary
You will in no way be able to become a freestyle rapper if you do not have a good vocabulary. Vocabulary is undoubtedly the most significant tool of these rappers. As words and sentences are to be sung on the spot, you need to know a number of words that can be used in your songs. You should also learn and memorize rhyming words, which will really help you in mastering this music style. The more words you are well aware of, better are the chances of you becoming a good freestyle rapper.

Get the Basics of Freestyle Rapping Right
Once you have a good stock of vocabulary, you need to know how freestyle rap is actually supposed to be done. One of the most important factors is the delivery of words. Pronounce every word clearly, so that listeners will be able to better understand. Do not be in a hurry of completing one sentence and moving on to the next one. The rhyming words and sentences in the song should be kinda free-flowing. Note down words that you have learned, play with them, and make sentences. Though freestyle rap is all about rapping without pre-written lyrics, it is always better to practice on lyrics that you have in front of you.

Beats are Also Important
With rhyming words, you also need to pay attention to beats and rhythm. Now that you have the sentences and words, try to put them in a song and sing along with beats. You can use a drum machine for rhythm and tempo accompaniment. For getting a better understanding of beats, the best idea is to listen to rap musicians who are very well known to do freestyle rap. Doing so will help you know how words have to be sung and in what kind of rhythm.

Practice Freestyle Rapping
It is well said that practice leads to perfection, so is true when it comes to freestyle rapping. If you want to rap well, practice is inevitable. Practice as much as you can, and try to freestyle rap on anything that you see; such as a person, a thing, an animal, etc. This is how you will be well versed in freestyle rapping.

Participate in Freestyle Rapping Battles
To realize how much you have learned, the best way is to participate in freestyle rapping battles. A freestyle rap battle is a competition which consists of two rappers rapping against each other to insult the opponent with rhyming words and music. The winner is one with the best delivery, lyrics, and crowd response. Freestyle rapping battles are good ways to improvise and enhance rapping skills.

These are some tips that can be used in learning how to freestyle rap. This skill is truly difficult to master, and even the best rappers in the music industry may find it difficult to freestyle rap.

How to Play the Piano

If you want to learn how to play piano chords and other skills, the easiest option to understand the basics is taking online lessons. This article centers on ways of learning to play the piano.

The piano is one good instrument for music lovers who may want to enter into the music industry professionally. It is believed that learning to play the piano is a good option for getting to know music throughout. Piano lessons most importantly focus on the basics of music such as staff notations, traditional tunes, and other techniques. And once a person is well acquainted with the fundamentals of piano music, he can possibly learn to play any kind of instrument. There are many methods to go by if you want to learn how to play the piano fast. The Internet has also made way for new learning techniques.

Learn How to Play Piano Music

Piano Tutor
Getting piano lessons is the most conventional method of learning to play the musical instrument. You can get in touch with a piano tutor in your neighbor and join classes. Just make sure you do a research with the tutor’s previous students regarding the quality of his lessons. This method is quite good if you want to learn the basics and that too by professional means.

Online Instructional Videos
The best part of online instructional videos is that you can learn almost every skill which is available. Unlike a tutor, you can avail piano lessons by various musicians beyond geographical boundaries. There are some good websites that have these instructional video lessons uploaded, one of which is YouTube. By using online instructional videos, you can even learn what is being taught by well-known pianists in another country.

Instructional DVDs
Apart from online video lessons, you can even purchase instructional DVDs by reputed artists in the music industry. You can get such DVDs in any of the musical instrument stores, bookstores, or music shops. Here again, you get quality video tutorials, as per the level of your skill. In addition, you also get lessons about unique techniques certain professionals use in their playing.

Piano Playing Guides
Another way of learning to play the piano is referring to guides. Normally, these piano books are sorted out according to the level of skill such as beginner, intermediate, and professional. They are good sources of basic information such as notes, scales, chords, certain musical pieces and sets, technical aspects, etc. Some guides may even come with general instructional DVDs.

Being with Pianists and Keyboardists
If you want to learn to play piano fast, remember that being with pianists and other music enthusiasts is the most effective method. Discussing and sharing about piano music is an informal, yet very helpful way to obtain good lessons about the skill. You can teach others what you know, and learn from them what you are not aware of. Remember that jamming with other musicians would surely help you in knowing how to play in a band.

Listening to Songs, Thinking, and Practicing
It is a proven fact that if you think about the music you want to learn, you tend to develop more interest in the field. The same is applicable when it comes to learning to play the piano. The more you listen to songs, the more you are exposed to new techniques, tunes, and skills. You can try to play and imitate skills and tunes which you have heard. This will no doubt make you a good pianist.

If you want to learn how to the play piano online, you can even refer to some popular blogs regarding your subject of interest. For playing the instrument acceptably, you can use some or all the above mentioned methods. The more techniques you learn and practice, the more proficient you will become in the skill.

Musical Instruments for Adults to Learn

Does learning to play a musical instrument top your life’s wish list? For most of us, the thought of playing a musical instrument is always exciting. However, our careers, family responsibilities, and social obligations often prevent us from pursuing our interests. It is only when you retire from your responsibilities that you become aware of the unfulfilled desires in your life. So, in case you haven’t been fortunate enough to receive music lessons in your youth, you can still consider the pros

Does it Get Tougher When You’re Older?
The honest answer is yes, it does. For the grown and mature mind, comprehending something completely new can be a bit difficult, but in no way impossible. It will only take a little longer than it would have if you were young. Playing any musical instrument involves hand-eye coordination, steady fingers and elbows, controlled breath, and a focused mind. It’s all still manageable, but only at a slower rate. Which is why you shouldn’t really compare yourself to anyone younger at your learning level.

That said, the level of difficulty of your learning a new instrument is directly proportional to exactly how you want to play that instrument. Do you want something to play comfortable songs with at family or social gatherings? Or do you want to try to do something more serious, like composing your own songs? The former needs very basic training and is easy to start, while the latter can take up quite a bit of your time and money. You’ll have to decide when you pick your instrument.

Choosing a Musical Instrument for Adult Beginners
To put it simply, the easiest instrument to learn for you is the one which you feel like playing from your heart! Yes, if you are really interested in playing something, you will eventually develop a talent to play that instrument. On the other hand, you can rarely excel at playing an instrument you have no interest in. Hence, if you’re really passionate about any instrument, pick it up. If you don’t have any particular instrument in mind, then you can pick any of the following ones.

One final thing that needs to be taken into account is the genre that you are interested in. Different music forms, such as jazz, rock, country, classical, etc., all adopt various musical instruments, which are irreplaceable to the particular music form. Lastly, all the musical instruments are not suitable for everyone. Your mouth shape plays a vital role while playing mouth instruments, like a harmonica. Hence, first check if the instrument that you decide to play suits your physical abilities.

Some of the Easiest Instruments to Learn for Adult

Percussion Instruments

Djembe Drum

One of the simplest percussion instruments to learn and practice is the djembe. It is also very easy to carry around, and can be quite a hit at any party you go to. The only problem with the djembe is that your hands will be sore when you initially start practicing. But as with all instruments, there’s nothing a little practice won’t solve.

Basic Drum Set

The drums will take some time to get used to, but once muscle memory sets in, playing them can be a very rewarding experience. It keeps you in shape, and you play some funky beats along the way!
Stringed Instruments

Guitar

If you are a fan of rock music, you sure could consider learning to play the guitar. However, at an entry-level, go for an acoustic guitar and learn to play folk music. Guitar is one instrument that can be played at solo performances. What’s more, you can even sing while playing it!

Autoharp

An autoharp is an excellent choice if you’re looking for something unconventional and easy. It’s a great instrument to play chords on, and doesn’t even tax your fingers as much as a guitar.
Wind Instruments

Trumpet

The trumpet belongs to the brass family of musical instruments. Trumpets are mostly in demand in jazz music. They are pretty easy to learn even at the beginner’s level, but require a strong pair of lungs. Apart from that, it is very easy to transport and fun to play. While choosing a trumpet, go for one that does not have a painted surface, because the paint tends to chip off after some time.

Flute

The flute is another musical instrument that is very popular. It offers the most inexpensive option of learning for beginners. However, playing a flute may not be easy for some people as it greatly depends upon the shape of your lips. If you have something called ‘teardrop’ lips, then you may not be able to play it, as the upper lip tends to block the air.

Other Instruments

Piano

If you can’t afford, or don’t want, a grand piano, then even a common synthesizer will be sufficient. Getting a tutor will be just as easy, they’re pretty common.

The piano holds a unique stance while learning. It is quite easy to begin with. The chords and simpler note plays can be learned fast enough. But it gets much tougher on the intermediate and advanced levels. But again, it is one of the most common instruments, so you’ll have no shortage of learning material for it.

Xylophone

A sweet sounding percussion instrument that’s incredibly peaceful to play, the xylophone is definitely an easy instrument to learn. Of course, there are increased complexities on higher levels, but as a beginner, you should have no problem adapting to the xylophone.
Although we now have this list, I’ll reiterate that learning an instrument will be easy if you’re actually into it. The more you love it, the easier it gets. For example, many people will agree that the drums take years of practice, perseverance, and physical strength. But for someone with better motor skills and a natural sense of rhythm, the basics can be done in a few months. That’s why, in the end, the instrument will only sound as good as your love for it.

Major Elements of Blues Music

Blues is undoubtedly the most popular music genre which has undergone many changes in its characteristics since its inception. Most notable genres of music such as rock and rhythm and blues have been developed on the basis of the contents of blues music. This music was a result of the combination of African and Western cultures in the Southern part of America. Some of early blues music personalities were Bukka White, Robert Johnson, and Bessie Smith. Banjo and piano were the early instruments in this music type.

Major Elements of Blues Music

Melody and Harmony
The harmony of blues music mainly focuses on the first, fourth and fifth chords of a combination. So, if the musical piece starts in the A chord, next chords will be fourth ‘D’ and fifth ‘E’ chords. And for G as the starting chord, the following chords would be C and D. This is exactly similar to the standard relative chord combinations. When it comes to melody, blues music also consists of an emphasis on the flattened third, fifth and seventh notes of a major scale. These notes are traditionally played in a blues scale.

Rhythm
The rhythm is also a unique characteristic of blues music. The rhythm is based on the 12-bar and 48-beat repetitive pattern. The three above-mentioned chords are played for 12 bars. Normally, the bar is divided into certain numbers of beats for different chords. For example, the first chord will be played for 16 beats, eight beats for the fourth chord, and eight beats for the first chord again. This will be followed by four beats for the fifth, four more beats for the fourth chord, finally coming down to eight beats for the first chord. Taking the example of E-A-B combination, the 12 bars can be divided in E/E/E/E/A/A/E/E/B7/A/E/E pattern.

Lyrics
Just like the melody, harmony, and rhythm; lyrics are also to be placed in blues music in a different manner. The verse of a conventional blues song comprises three lines. The first two lines are more or less the same, followed by the third. Most of the time, the first two lines are the same, and have question-like lyrics. The third line, is the response to the first two lines. So, the lyrical structure becomes in the AAB pattern. Singing first two lines is divided among eight measures in a 12-bar, whereas the rest four measures consist of singing the third line. Thematically, blues lyrics concentrate more on sadness and disappointing stories; such as poverty, lost relationships, death, violence, racism, and so on. Hence, verses are in a question-answer format.

Musical Instrument Sounds
Earlier, the banjo was prominently used as the main instrument for blues music. However, in the early 1900s, guitar and piano were added. Nowadays, as this music has become so innovative, many other instruments have been added as a standard. Basses, drums, and harmonica are included in the blues scene today. Using various instruments is the chief reason why there are many branches in blues music found today.

This type of music has been through many modification phrases with regards to lyrics, instruments, and harmony; which is evident in most types of music today. The most popular sub-genre is blues-rock, which is a blend of blues and rock elements. The elements of music in R&B, hip hop, and rock and roll genres are also related to blues music. Many of the heavy metal music is based on the roots of blues.

Top Saxophone Brands

In the following paragraphs, a brief description of some common and great brands of saxophones has been put forth. This lovely instrument is manufactured by rather less companies and finding a good saxophone which appeals to your heart has indeed become exceedingly difficult. Here are a couple of things to help you out.

A classical music and Jazz enthusiast, my wrinkled, 80 year old music teacher Ruben was not just fond of the music that came out of woodwind or brass instruments, but he would cradle the instruments with a loving and burning passion, as if the instruments were his lover. Though he spent much more time banging down the keys of an old beaten-up piano, Ruben wound go up into heaven whenever he took up a saxophone or clarinet or even a violin. This former army man seldom performed, and imbibed the belief in us that music should first please your heart and soul and the performance ‘nonsense’ comes later. 5 years have passed since I broke down beside his coffin and realized that for the first time that I would never again hear his rusty annoyed voice and never again will his saxophone’s notes drift out from that old stone house set in the lane which was laden with wild plants and weeds.

When any person comes up to me, and asks, what instrument should I buy, I always recommend, ‘buy whatever you like, buy what you are comfortable with, you should love the sound and it should touch your heart and soul…’. After all music is nothing but your emotions softly speaking out.

Some of the Best Saxophone Brands

The saxophone family was invented by Adolphe Sax in 1846 as a more powerful instrument than the woodwinds and the brass. Today, saxophones are manufactured in 8 different types, which are classified into varieties, depending upon their pitch and the value of notes which are played on it. From the highest to the lowest (note value and pitch wise) these include, Sopranino, Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Contrabass and the Subcontrabass. Now almost all companies manufacture these saxophones, however the Subcontrabass or the Sopranino are a little rare, and one may have to specially order it. The usual ones alto, soprano and tenor are quite commonly used and also manufactured.

When you buy a saxophone, at the beginner stage, it is often advisable, that one buys a cheap one. Cheap as in inexpensive or second hand, as one gets used to the instrument and conformable with the reeds and the knobs. Later on, on the advice of your teacher, you can go in for a really expensive one.

Yamaha
This is the best instrument brand for all beginners and non-professional enthusiasts who want to thoroughly enjoy the beauty of the instrument. Yamaha gives you the entire package, warm and expressive tone, great intonation, a lovely production of notes and perfect accuracy of scales. Yamaha manufactures, tenor, soprano, alto and baritone saxophones. One of the best thing about these instruments is that, apart from being well priced, you tend to fall in love with the tone and notes of the instrument. Quality, durability, efficiency and perfection are unquestionable. A really great brand and instrument family to start on, but make sure that you take care of it. There are several professional artists who have used Yamaha saxophones for decades together.

Jupiter
Want a lovely, sounding brass? Jupiter is one brand that you don’t want to ignore. A great brand for learners, which in fact is also preferred by several pros. Personally, given a choice, I would go for Jupiter any day. Like Yamaha., Jupiter also manufactures, alto, tenor, soprano and baritones. One of the great things about this brand is that the majestic and microscopic finishing that is machined on its saxophones. The finishing and beautifully crafted shape gives the saxophones a soulful look to go with its tone.

Selmer
This company offers probably the most soulful saxophones there are. Selmer’s engineering of these wind instruments, is highly sophisticated and enables players to produce a pronounced and intensely beautiful sound, with are mystically emotional and deeply sensitive. Selmer saxophones are available in a variety of tonal and pitch ranges and are often finished to perfection, giving the player an unmatched fluidity in notes which is even finer than flowing water

Keilwerth
The Julius Keilwerth saxophone brand is a member of the Buffet-Crampon family. The history of the instruments of this company can be traced back to 1820’s when the production of finely crafted wind instruments began. The saxophones from this brand have a beautifully finished surface and the quality in the manufacturing process is maintained right down to the finest bit. Passion of the player is all it takes to bring out that very beautiful sound that, flows out like brook though a forest.

Vito
LeBlac, a Wisconsin based instrument, manufacturer, dealer and assembler is noted for its ‘Vito’, saxophone brand. The Vito saxophones are not manufactured by LeBlac but are rather assembled with the help of several finely crafted parts from different companies. In some cases and entire saxophone is also crafted by the supplier. The maintained quality make these saxophones very reliable and the strong sturdy finish of the saxophone makes it an ideal instrument for students.

Like I mentioned above, it is good to buy what you like and the sound of which nourishes your soul and keeps the worldly things worthwhile. So intense is the power of this beautiful music that often on a rainy day when I take a walk down that very green lane, I can almost hear Ruben’s Selmer singing out ‘Coming Back to Life’, by Pink Floyd. Music is after all the language of souls.

About Career in Music Therapy

Music therapy jobs are one of those jobs that are not at all affected by financial recession. Read on to know more about the opportunities in this field

It has been observed that music has a substantial effect on the behavior, thinking, and emotional stability of a person. And if the mental health of a person is fine, it has a very good effect on his physical health as well. Owing to the contribution of music in the mind and physiology of an individual, it is largely used to develop a medical treatment plan known as music therapy. As a result, there is a need for professionals who can use music and many of its concepts for treating a patient to live a good life. Those who are employed in such jobs are known as music therapists.

How to Become a Music Therapist?

If you are thinking of becoming a music therapist, you will have to possess a bachelor’s degree in the same field from a reputed university. However, this is just the entry requirement, you can excel your career further by pursuing a master’s or a doctorate in the same field. The music therapy courses are a blend of actual classroom training and practical assignments. You may even opt for a specialization for that matter.

You are required to obtain the necessary license for carrying out your job as a music therapist. Along with the needed education, training, and permit; you also have to be good in playing a majority of the musical instruments and understanding the concepts of music. A very important ability that you need to develop is to help patients use meditation music, and other types of music as a self-expressive language of their own.

Job Prospects

Since this is a career from the health care industry, there are many music therapy job benefits; some of which are job security, no effect of recession, and emotional satisfaction. Moreover, the prospects of these jobs are predicted to increase in the near future. This is because there is a demand for these professionals in a variety of work settings such as public and private hospitals, health-care facilities, schools, educational institutions, rehabilitation facilities, and other places where physiological issues are addressed.

Job Description

The primary responsibility of a music therapist is to address, determine and treat the patients’ mental illnesses with medically prescribed standards of music. This simply means that a music therapist uses music to free patients off their mental disturbances, and gives them a good method of self-expression.

Typically, a music therapist consults with psychologists and other medical professionals, to develop specialized treatment and therapy plans according to the condition of patients. He works with people of all age groups, ranging from children to old men and women. He helps patients to express their views and thinking in a way that cannot be expressed by words. A music therapist also has to keep an eye on the development of the patient during therapy.

Salary

The music therapist salary largely depends on the location and facility of employment, related education and training, work experience, and the specific field of study. Those with one to four years of music therapy experience can earn a yearly pay of approximately $32,000 to $43,000. Professionals with five to nine years of experience can expect a per annum pay of around $40,000 to $51,000. The District of Columbia was recorded as the highest paid region for music therapists, with an estimated range of $35,000 to $52,000.

This is just some general information on music therapy jobs, job description, salary, and educational requirements. A career as a music therapist is considered as a cool career from the medical field.

Ecstasy of Music

The effects of music on humans are perceived differently depending on the individual but one thing is certain: music will remain of heavenly origins. Music unravels the faint memories and relaxes the soul, reaches to the core of the heart and transcends the mind to an indescribable ecstasy.

In his book entitled “The Psychology of the Art”, Henri Delacroix makes reference among other things to music and its effect on people, or rather explains what different people say music does to them. They refer chiefly to classical music, to symphonies in general.

Delacroix says that Diderot in his “Letter about the Deaf and the Dumb” describes in a very precise and refined manner, about certain intense, violent and deep feelings that music may arouse in some of its listeners. Diderot claims that in music, the pleasure of the sensation depends on a certain peculiar disposition not only of the human ear, but also of the entire nervous system.

According to Diderot, there are certain people in whom the fibers may oscillate with such intensity, vigor and vitality because of their encounter with musical harmonies, that they may feel as if they were dying of pleasure.
Diderot poses some rhetorical questions regarding the intense way in which music can touch the human soul, as compared to other forms of art. It’s quite unusual for such an imprecise and arbitrary means of artistic expression to have such strong impact on people’s state of mind and spirit.

In this respect, Diderot rhetorically assumes that the explanation for this phenomenon would be that music does not actually present objects, it deals with sounds, and therefore it allows people’s imagination to manifest more freely and openly. Or perhaps because we need to be shaken up a little bit in order to be impressed, music has a stronger impact than painting or poetry.

Mrs. Camille Mauclair, the author of “The Religion of Music”, gives a more precise description of this kind of ecstasy caused by the impact of music on our minds and souls. The effect of music on people is referred to by Delacroix as a sort of delirium of the infinity, as a kind of charming, depersonalizing experience that causes us to forget about our mundane, day-to-day life and take a plunge in the musical realm, somewhere outside ourselves.

Mrs. Mauclair says that the quality of the sound can both drive someone crazy in a positive way, and calm down the spirit. She says that to the spiritual love for good quality music, she also adds some sort of violent, nervous drunkenness that feeds on sounds as if they were alcohol.

Some consider that the impact of music on its listeners can be viewed from a different perspective. Instead of the violent, passionate pleasure which some claim to feel when listening to certain musical pieces, others refer to the fact that the very intensity of spiritual passions can raise the human mind to a kind of serene insensitivity, to a certain high level balance which is above and beyond any feelings of joy or sorrow.

The state of spiritual ecstasy is a kind of neutral state of mind. The ecstatic state of mind of those utterly impressed by the beauty of a musical piece can suppress both joy and sorrow in a sort of neutralized perception.

The emotional rhythm or tone of a certain musical bit can actually bring someone to a real day-dreaming kind of mood. This can be accompanied by the mind’s association of the sounds with certain visual images, created of course by the power of one’s imagination. Although they may not follow a certain logical or chronological order, such images can present themselves under the form of certain landscapes, or something like pictures.

The listener can thus remember certain things from his past, or can dream about the present or his future. This is what music can actually do to one’s mind. Such ideas are usually typical of those belonging to Romanticism. Romantics considered music to be the supreme art, which was able to touch the very essence of things. Delacroix says that such people may interpret the exuberance and magic of music as a sort of fusion with the absolute, or as a sort of disappearance in the absolute.

The famous French writer named Stendhal said that in order for us to live the illusions of the music, we must forget to be reasonable. Being reasonable and enjoying music are two things that ought to be taken separately.

Music Affects the Heart Rate

Most of us love music and some are even addicted to it; be it rock, pop, classical, jazz, etc. There is hardly anyone who doesn’t listen to or enjoys any type of music. This is because music is known to have certain effects on us. Some of us claim that music elevates their mood, some say that it brings about a feeling of calmness or tranquility, or some may even say that it brings out the wild side in them. It is said that music strikes the chord of right emotions in our mind, or touches our heart. Studies undertaken to find the effect of music on human beings have found that this is not a myth anymore. Music definitely affects the heart, or the cardiovascular system. Let us know how.

Have you experienced a situation when listening to very loud music makes your heartbeat so fast that you can actually feel the heavy beating? In that case, you become anxious and restless. This is because of the effect loud music has on your heart rate. It is said that loud and fast music increases the heart rate. Thus, we experience a feeling of high anxiety, hyperactivity, stress, etc., when we listen to music which has a fast tempo.

Slow music or music that has a slower tempo is associated with a slower heart rate. People who listen to calming music or classical music have a slower heart rate as compared to those listening to fast music, or those not listening to music at all.

The effect of music on the heart is based on the functioning of the brain. When we hear music, the sound waves produced are translated into electrical impulses by the brain. These impulses are sent to the hypothalamus. As it is related to the increasing and decreasing of the heart rate, the related effect is produced. Listening to slow or calming music is definitely more beneficial. However, listening to any type of music you like can be helpful, rather than not listening to any music at all.

The heart rate is pulse rate, i.e., the number of times your heartbeats per minute. It is believed that people who have a slower heart rate tend to live longer. People having a higher heart rate are at a greater risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. Thus, having a slower heart rate is more beneficial. When music slows down the heart rate, it brings about a feeling of calmness, thus, it is used as a relaxation technique. Music also helps in reducing stress and relieving anxiety.

You should remember that listening to any kind of music (in right frequency and right tempo) is surely beneficial for the overall health. Lastly, we can conclude by saying that the phrase ‘heals the heart’ in the following quote is not just a saying, but a fact!

“Music speaks what cannot be expressed, soothes the mind and gives it rest, heals the heart and makes it whole, flows from heaven to the soul.”