Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Music: The Best Medicine - by Marin

Have you ever heard the saying “Music makes the World go round”?  I am sure you have. But have you ever really thought about what that saying really means? After talking with some friends and adults about music and what it means to them, I was astonished at how it is true that music does makes our World go round!
When you’re really sad, or down about something, what is something that makes you feel better? Or when something really awesome happens, how do you celebrate? Music. Whether it’s a Beethoven kind of day, or Jimi Hendrix, music has such a powerful and great impact on our lives. How cool is that? Well, let me just tell you.

A study done by Dr. Mike Miller from the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore has proven how music can literally help a person during times of stress. Patient’s hearts were monitored while they listened to pleasing music and the results were astonishing to Dr. Miller. He claimed, "The inner lining of the blood vessel relaxed, opened up and produced chemicals that are protective to the heart.” But when he played music that the patients did not enjoy or like, he found, “the vessels actually began to close up, which is the same effect as stress to the heart.” So, it is proven that music (that you enjoy) is actually, medically good for you! But all science aside, music has a way of turning any situation into something positive.
For instance, just this morning right at the beginning of ballet class, I could already tell it was going to be rough. Everyone looked tired and even our teacher knew we weren’t feeling it. So, in between combinations as our teacher was discussing the mechanics of the ligaments and muscles in our hip, he somehow changed the lecture into music and “how could you not know who George Clinton & Parliament-Funkadelic is?” Yes, this was happening during ballet class. My teacher gave our pianist a look and walked over to the sound system to plug in his iPod. I could not believe my ears as this music poured out of the speakers and everyone in our class went ballistic. Instantly, the mood changed, and for the rest of the class, everyone was more awake and chipper.

The more I think about how music impacts not just my life but also others, the more excited I get. How wonderful is it that music, which is all around us, has the power to change people? As I finish this post,  “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles is slowly coming to a close. However, I am not sad that this happy song has ended, but elated. Because I know that today is going to be a great day!

Marin Helppie-Schmieder is a college freshman at the Conservatory of Performing Arts at Point Park University in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania majoring in Modern Dance. Originally from Carrollton, Texas, Marin was a participant in the Distinguished Young Women program and was selected as the Distinguished Young Woman of Texas for 2012. Learn more about Marin here!

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