5 secrets behind the power of music

1) Cultural community building -  Music is not exclusive for virtuosos and entertainers. Think about the american culture that surrounds the music industry.  Pop music is highly produced, auto-tuned and featured in reality TV shows like the Voice or American Idol where contestants are judged for sharing their voice. No wonder we’re terrified to sing or speak in public. Set that aside, creating music together is primal. It connects us to one another raising our vibrations. Where in modern-day American society are you invited to sing in a group, without critique?  Build community. Sing together.  

2) Pacifies baby - I know this one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised. Music that is simple, repetitive, and predictable is giving baby’s brain something to absorb.  Our music engages baby so that you may take a few deep breaths.  Read on about baby brain development.

3) Brain development - From inside the womb, baby is listening to everything. Baby is processing the tones of your voice, your heartbeat, your words, other words. Music is the only healing art form to access the brain passively. Music is amazing. Your baby is learning about tonal relationships or melodies, patterns, sounds, and language all by listening. What’s even more powerful is making music WITH your baby.  Try tapping a steady rhythm on your baby’s feet or hands to create a sensory experience.  It’s simple but effective. Each time baby listens neural pathways are being created. How cool is that?

4) Emotional intelligence - One aspect of music that other art forms lack at this stage in baby’s life is  the ability to elicit emotional responses. Have you seen the videos of babies hearing their mothers sing and immediately they start crying?  Music is an emotional process. When you hear a song that reminds you of a memory it evokes those feelings. Music can access your baby’s emotional center of the brain, while actively shaping positive experiences as you listen to the music regularly.

5) Congruent with movement  - Have you ever been to a yoga class where the music just didn’t quite support the style of class?  Or have you ever tried running with slow languid music?   It’s hard to make sense of it.  Running to fast upbeat music makes way more sense in our body and brain.  We are rhythmic beings and we automatically synchronize with an external beat. Our music was created to fit the action of the yoga poses. The music is not a separate aspect of the experience, but rather integrated fully into the design of the class.  

4 Ways Music Helps You Process Emotions

Music has a way of connecting us to our emotions. A certain song will trigger a memory from twenty years ago and we are back in the emotion of that time. It is truly incredible. At times when we feel stuck or we find ourselves pushing away certain emotions, music is a wonderful tool to help us reconnect and to dig deeper. Here are 4 simple tools to use music for emotional processing. 

1. CREATE A SONG MAP: Whether it is the new job of mothering, a move, a loss of an irreplaceable loved one, or a new job; life is full of transitions. One way to work through the different aspects of each transition is through music. Is there a song that comes to mind when you think of the feelings you first felt when you found out about this transition? Is there a song that comes that represents what you are leaving behind with this new life? What about a song that speaks to where you are in this exact moment? Take some time and listen to these songs. They can help to map out the territory that is this new part of you and your life.

2. HIT REPEAT: Remember when you were 13 years old and you sat and listened to that song on repeat after your latest heartbreak? We often don't spend the time with music that we did in our adolescence but really should. Are the tears stuck inside? Is the anger just lying beneath the surface? Take some time with a song that you know will bring these emotions to the surface. 

3. DIG DEEP: Take a song that really speaks to you and print out the lyrics. Take some time to listen to the music while looking at the lyrics. Underline a passage that perfectly speaks to you. Use this as a prompt for journaling, art or meditation. 

4. CREATE: Take a song you love and play around with changing the lyrics to tell your own story. You can change just one word in a line or change a whole line. Who knows? You may love this so much that you'll decide to create your own song.