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Recent Research on the Power of Music

Recent Research on the Power of Music


This is one of my favorites, and even though it’s from work done at the Cleveland Clinic in 2006, it reached the conclusion that nurses “can teach patients how to use music to enhance the effects of analgesics, decrease pain, depression and disability, and promote feelings of power.” A “listening” group and a “non-listening” control group were evaluated on several accepted pain-measurement scales, and it was found that  the music group[s] had more power and less pain, depression and disability than the control group. The model predicting both a direct and indirect effect for music was supported.”

Music of Mozart Soothes the Preemie Baby 
The study was conducted on the effects of music on babies. The results found that listening for just 30 minutes a day helped premature babies use less energy, which may help them grow faster. “Within 10 minutes of listening to Mozart music, healthy infants born prematurely had a 10 percent to 13 percent reduction of their resting energy expenditure,” the study authors wrote. “We speculate that this effect of music on resting energy expenditure might explain, in part, the improved weight gain that results from this Mozart effect.”
The next two articles reference studies done by Dr Claudius Conrad, a Surgery Resident at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a trained classical pianist, who examined the effect of music on surgeons in the operating room.
“What he’s looking at is the subliminal effect that could produce a positive effect on performance…. If I’m in some difficult operation, maybe there is some positive effect on my physiology – not even on my conscious mood – that would translate into a better surgical performance,” said Dr Andrew Warshaw, Surgeon in Chief at Massachusetts General.
To systematically test the effects of music in the operating room, Conrad created tasks for surgeons to complete on a computer simulator of laparoscopic procedures — surgeries that involve operating through a small incision. He tested the speed and accuracy of eight expert surgeons under different conditions: Surgeons performed the tasks in silence; while listening to Mozart; and accompanied by the chaotic, stressful noise produced by hearing a different stream of music in each ear – one, German folk music; the other, death metal.
Regular readers of this newsletter will be able to guess correctly how this impacted the surgeons’ performance. Or you can just read the next abstract….
“Conrad found that the folk and death metal mix increased the time it took expert surgeons to do the procedures, but did not affect their accuracy compared with silence. It also negatively affected their ability to learn a task: their accuracy did not improve when doing the task a second time while listening to the same music. While listening to Mozart, surgeons’ speed varied, but their accuracy improved compared with silence.
“When Conrad tried the same test on 40 participants who had received no surgical training, he found that the Mozart music also had a beneficial effect when they repeated the procedure.”



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