5 Ways Music Improves Our Health

Woman wearing headphones and laughing.

Woman wearing headphones and laughing.

When I gave birth to my first-born, I listened to CDs of classical music in the hospital. I figured that music would help calm me and distract me from the pain.

You might use music to distract yourself from painful or stressful situations, too. Or perhaps you’ve listened to music while studying or working out, hoping to up your performance. Though you may sense that music helps you feel better somehow, only recently has science begun to figure out why that is.

Neuroscientists have discovered that listening to music heightens positive emotion through the reward centers of our brain, stimulating hits of dopamine that can make us feel good or even elated. Listening to music also lights up other areas of the brain — in fact, almost no brain center is left untouched — suggesting more widespread effects and potential uses for music.

Music’s neurological reach, and its historic role in healing and cultural rituals, has led researchers to consider ways music may improve our health and wellbeing. In particular, researchers have

Music can improve concentration in some children with ADHD

adhaFrom Rachmaninov to rock ’n’ roll, listening to music while studying may help some children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). For some, music has similar positive effects to medication.

The findings are part of a study on the effects of distractors on children with ADHD. A team of researchers, led by FIU Center for Children and Families Director William E. Pelham Jr., set out to examine how distractions – such as music and television – affect children with ADHD.

Traditionally, Pelham said, parents and teachers believe distractors only have negative effects. Pelham set out to discover how music and videos actually impact the abilities of children with ADHD to focus in the classroom. Leading into the study, Pelham believed the music would have negative effects in many cases, and would have no effects at best. But even a world-renowned psychologist and leading authority on ADHD can be surprised by his own research findings.

“If a kid says he can watch TV and focus, it’s just not true. With television, we found out what we needed to know,” said Pelham, who

The Effects of Music on a Student’s Schoolwork

The Effects of Music on a Student's SchoolworkToday’s teens find it hard to resist listening to music while doing homework. Those who choose to listen while they study could see grades dip as a result. Teens need to choose wisely if they decide to listen to music and study at the same time. Soothing music can help some students focus, while any choice of music can be a distraction for other students.

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Many teens listen to music while they study. In fact, many juggle their listening and studying with other tasks such as emailing, instant messaging and watching television. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 53 percent of teens 12 to 17 do something else while studying. At 87 percent, listening to music was the most popular side activity for those who balanced studying with another activity. This generation of teens is growing up multitaskers, and the lure of computers, televisions and iPods is too great for today’s teens to ignore even while

Grammy insiders unveil their secret ballots

EW’s four Grammy insiders include one songwriter, a Grammy nominee who’s written some of the decade’s biggest radio and dance-floor hits; an artist, an R&B singer who’s had multiple Grammy nominations; a producer, a Nashville whiz who’s helmed some of the best recent country records;and another musician, a multiple nominee who had one of 2015’s most critically beloved albums. Ahead of Monday’s award show, they cast their secret ballots.

Album Of The Year

The Songwriter: Common thought is Taylor Swift has it. R&B voters would split between Kendrick and the Weeknd. And the older rock vote would split Alabama Shakes and Chris Stapleton. I wouldn’t be surprised if it went to Alabama, like Beck beating Beyonce in 2015. But my pick is Taylor Swift.
The Artist: Kendrick Lamar should win. And I think he will. His album was so musical, and he did a good job of combining rap and hip-hop elements with punk and soul.
The Producer: I have to go for Chris Stapleton because I can’t even believe it’s in that category. That album was done from such a pure place—it was just about making good art.
The Artist: Kendrick. I’m a huge Kamsai Washington fan, and I really love

What time are the Grammys And other burning questions answered

Music’s biggest night is back. The 58th annual Grammy Awards are coming up on Monday night, and whether your tastes tend toward rock, pop, rap, country, R&B, musical theater, or anything in between, the star-studded telecast will have something for you. We’ve got all the answers to your burning questions about when to watch, what you’ll see, and who might win below

What time are the Grammys?

The Grammys take place on Monday, Feb. 15, at the STAPLES Center in Los Angeles. They will air live on CBS nationwide — with no tape delay for western time zones this year — at 8:00 p.m. ET/5:00 p.m. PT.

Who’s hosting?

LL Cool J will assume emcee duties for the fifth consecutive year. Before his first hosting gig in 2012, the Grammys went for seven years without a host at all.

Who’s performing?

Who isn’t? Taylor Swift will open the show, and nominees Kendrick Lamar, The Weeknd, Justin Bieber, Sam Hunt, Ellie Goulding, Miguel, Andra Day, Alabama Shakes, Tori Kelly, Carrie Underwood, Joey Alexander, James Bay, and Little Big Town will all perform, as will Adele (whose latest album, 25, was released too late to be eligible for nominations) and Rihanna. Pitbull will team up for a collaboration with Robin Thicke

Best New Music Of 2016

It’s a new year, and you may want a new playlist. May need one. We’re going to help you build it. There is a lot of new music dropping, and we’ve got two great critics with us to scan the horizon for what’s here, what’s coming. From Jack Garratt, from Sia, Porches, Kanye, Nevermen, King. If you don’t know these tracks, keep listening. We’ll introduce you! This hour On Point, from TEEN to Dvsn, new music for a new year.

“The best part of the New Year, by far, is having a legit reason to get excited for stuff. You haven’t been disappointed yet! You’re still nailing that New Year’s resolutions, and you have a year’s worth of cool music to look forward to. Here are a bunch of vital artists who are supposed to drop records in 2016; we know more about some than about others, but all of them are giving us reasons to think it will be another great year for music.”

Boston Globe: 16 artists to look forward to hearing in 2016 — “Blending rich vocal harmonies with a 21st-century update of the electrified R&B that dominated the Quiet Storm era, this trio has been hotly tipped by soul

Popular music

For the musical genre, see Pop music.
“Popular song” redirects here. For other uses, see Popular Song (disambiguation).

The term popular music belongs to a number of musical genres “having wide appeal”[1][2][3] and typically distributed to large audiences through the music industry. These forms and styles can be enjoyed and performed by people with little or no musical training.[1] It stands in contrast to both art music[4][5][6] and traditional music. Art music was historically disseminated through the performances of written music, although since the beginning of the recording industry, it is also disseminated through recordings. Traditional music forms such as early blues songs or hymns were passed orally, or to smaller, local audiences.[4][5][6] The original application of the term is to music of the 1880s Tin Pan Alley period in the United States.[1] Although popular music sometimes is known as “pop music”, the two terms are not interchangeable.[7] Popular music is a generic term for music of all ages that appeals to popular tastes,[8] whereas pop music usually refers to a specific musical genre

Songs and Rhymes as a Springboard to Literacy

Music is an integral part of a quality early childhood curriculum. It plays a role in setting the tone of the classroom, developing skills and concepts, helping children make transitions, and building a sense of community. Of course, if you ask the children, they will tell you singing is a fun part of their daily activities.

In recent years, with a strong national focus on early literacy, we have begun to examine and redefine the valuable role singing songs and reciting chants and rhymes play in laying the foundation for reading readiness. We know, for example, that these activities can help build vocabulary and develop sound discrimination. Both skills are crucial to the development of literacy. The size of a child’s vocabulary and his or her ability to discriminate sounds are strong predictors of how easily a child will learn to read when exposed to formal instruction (Adams, et all).

Oral language and phonological sensitivity (sound discrimination) are not the only skills that are developed when children are exposed to songs, chants, and rhyme.  They can also develop listening and thinking skills. Oral language (vocabulary), phonological sensitivity and comprehension (thinking skills) are the building blocks of

Inappropriate Children’s Versions of Famous Hit Songs

As long as there are children in the world, there will be someone trying to make kid-friendly versions of the stuff adults love. Music is no exception. In fact, an entire franchise, Kidz Bop, has been built around the idea that kids like Usher songs better when his capable vocals are replaced by the wailing of a roomful of tweens.

And maybe they’re right. The Kidz Bop franchise has been in business since 2000, releasing over 20 albums of your favorite songs held down and punched in the face by a bunch of goddamn kids. Nine of the first 10 went gold in the U.S.

Here’s the thing, though; sometimes no amount of censorship and lyric changes can mask the fact that the song in question is clearly intended for an adult audience only

Write this down, parents of America: Every song about dancing is actually about fucking. There is the rare occasion when a song will be written specifically about a dance, so you can count those as exceptions, I suppose. “Moves Like Jagger” by Maroon 5 is not one of those songs.

If you’re one of the 11 people alive who still haven’t heard it, for the sake of brevity, just know

Teaching Techniques Sing Songs with Children

1 Play with sound. Before you sing with children, play “sounding games.” Sing a note, or make a sound and invite children to match it. Once you are all comfortable with making all kinds of sounds, you can move on to songs.

2 Play with rhythm and rhyme. If you are just getting comfortable with singing with children, you can try saying a song in a rhythmic way. Clap as you say the song.

3 Start with the whole song. Children learn songs best when they hear the entire song from beginning to end, several times. Don’t break down the song into phrases to teach it. This is confusing to children. Just sing it and don’t worry if they can’t sing along. They are listening and will join in when they’re ready.

4 Use your hands. The finger and hand motions that are used to illustrate a song fascinate children. Often, children who are uncomfortable with singing are willing to go through the motions of the song with you.

5 Sing throughout the day. Use songs throughout the day to get children’s attention, give directions, or to even “narrate” something children are doing: “Suzie is riding on the swing.”

6 Use familiar tunes. If you

Five Tips to Keep Your Voice Healthy

What does it take to keep your voice healthy for auditions, performances, and everything else you do? In recognition of World Voice Day, Dr. Wendy LeBorgne, voice pathologist and singing voice specialist, shares her top five tips to help you be at your best vocally.

1.  Train your voice and body just like an athlete: Learn proper singing technique, don’t overuse the voice, get plenty of rest, eat a balanced, healthy diet.  Singers are like vocal gymnasts who traverse their artistic range with apparent ease and flexibility. Gymnasts are extremely disciplined people who spend hours perfecting their craft and are much more likely than the general public to sustain an injury.  Professional singers carry some of these same risks and must maintain a disciplined practice schedule with intervals of rest and recovery to perform at an optimal level, regardless of genre.

2.  Let your voice shine.  Attempting to imitate someone else’s voice or singing style can require you to sing or do things outside of your comfortable physiologic range or current vocal skill level.  This could result in vocal injury.  Also remember that if you are imitating someone who is already famous, their millions have been

Healthy habits for a healthy life 12 tips

1. Promote healthy eating in your home
Children are more likely to develop healthy eating behaviours when they’re given a choice of healthy foods at home, so put healthy foods on your shopping list and prepare nutritional meals and snacks for the whole family. Having fewer unhealthy foods (like soft drinks, chips, lollies and snack bars) in your cupboard means you won’t have to ‘police’ what your children eat.

2. As a family, remind yourselves of the basic foods
These are fruit, vegetables, wholegrain cereals, lean meats and fish, and low-fat dairy foods. Make your shopping list from these groups so it will be easier to prepare family meals that include them.

3.  Be aware of serving size
This way you can prepare suitable amounts of food for your family. Preparing the right amount discourages you from coming back for seconds or putting too much on your plates. Children who are allowed to follow their own appetite will generally choose the right amount of food for their needs.

4.  Make a distinction between ‘everyday’ and ‘sometimes’ foods
‘Everyday’ food is the healthy stuff, whereas ‘sometimes’ food is the not-so-healthy stuff that’s high in fat

From the Grammys to Tips on Selecting the Best Workout Mix

The 54th Annual Grammy Awards that took place on Sunday night may be the reason music is on your mind this Monday.

Of course, this year’s award show took on a somber note when LL Cool J, author of his own workout book, opened the show with a prayer for the late legend, Whitney Houston.

While the news of Houston’s death and talk of who took home the biggest awards (Adele swept the Grammys this year) may be giving music more focus right now, for most who hit the gym or trail, having the right workout playlist is a very important part of the workout.

It’s understandable why the right music playlist can be seen as just another part of your workout gear. An ACE-sponsored research study showed that the right kind of music can positively affect an exercise program. The study found that a faster beat frequency tended to make people work harder or faster, and it helped them enjoy exercise, too.

So how can you ensure you have the right workout mix for your chosen exercise?

ACE recommends approximately 137-139 beats per minute (bpm) for power walkers, 147-169 bpm for runners,

The Impact of Listening to Music on Cognitive Performance

Many students listen to music to alleviate the emotional effects of stress and anxiety when engaged in complex cognitive processing, such as studying for a test, completing homework assignments, or while reading and writing. This practice is so common that it would be beneficial for college students to understand the role that music plays on cognitive performance. Research demonstrating the effects of music on performance is well documented, but have shown ambiguous evidence on this matter. In studies conducted to learn about the effects of musical distraction on cognitive task performance, the findings have demonstrated the idea of music improving cognitive performance (Cockerton, Moore, & Norman, 1997), but there has also been research contradicting those results, where music was found distracting for participants performing cognitive tasks (Furnham & Bradley, 1997). However, with the plethora of music genres available to music listeners, it is important to understand how different types of music impact performance. Additionally, very few studies address the interaction between the intensity or volume of the music played and its effect on cognitive processing. The present study aims to understand the effect of listening to different genres of music played at different volume levels on cognitive task

Can Music Help Teens Focus on Schoolwork

In spite of a number of studies and articles, whether or not music actually helps teen-age students focus on schoolwork is still an unanswered question. The so-called Mozart effect, in which listener’s spatial awareness was raised by listening to 10 minutes of a Mozart, has a spotty record for duplicating the original results. However, there is some indication that quiet background music can be beneficial to some students, and can block unwanted distractions.

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Mozart Effect

In “The Mozart Effect: a Closer Look” band teacher Donna Lerch carefully examines accounts of the so-called Mozart effect. She explains that the first experiments were carried out by Gordon Shaw, whose specialty was theoretical neurobiology. The original study involved 36 graduate students. One group listened to Mozart, one to “easy listening” music and one silence. The Mozart group showed a .9 increase in their I.Q. for about 10 minutes, which was long enough to take a simple test. In an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of

Teenagers’ Reasons for Listening to Music and the Students’ Perception of the Effects of Listening When Completing School Assignments

Music is a significant part of our lives. People listen to music on the radio at home and in their car; they watch music videos on television or hand held technology; they buy CDs or download music; and they attend concerts. People also hear music in stores, restaurants, sporting events, and doctors’ offices (Schellenberg, Peretz, & Vieillard, 2008). Music is very important to many adolescents and they spend a considerable amount of their time listening to music. One study with N = 2,465 adolescents ages 13 and 14 found that participants listened to music for an average of 2.45 hours per day (North, Hargreaves, & O’Neill, 2000). Music has become a personal accompaniment in many teenagers’ lives because of the availability and popularity of personal music listening devices. In 2009, Jaffray released the results from the 18th semi-annual survey, “taking stock with teens.” The team of researchers surveyed approximately N = 1,200 students, with an average age of 16.3, in 12 cities across the United States and received an additional N = 10,000 online responses. The results showed that 92% of teenagers reported owning a personal music player. As a result of the popularity of these players, music

Does Listening to Music While Doing Homework Affect Your Grade in School

Music is a powerful art form that can bring up emotions, inspire motivation and alter your mood. Students frequently listen to music while studying to make the process less painful and, in some cases, because they believe music will help them learn. The effects of listening to music while studying are mixed, however, and depend upon the type of music you listen to as well as the degree to which it distracts you.

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Music With Lyrics

Music with lyrics activates the language-processing centers of the brain, and the University of Phoenix advises that this can be distracting. Particularly if you’re reading or studying subjects within the humanities, the act of processing musical lyrics as you try to process the words you’re studying can make studying more challenging. Students who listen to music with lyrics may have more difficulty concentrating and may struggle more to recall the information they’ve learned.

Instrumental Music

Robin Harwood, et al. point to the “Mozart Effect” in

The Benefits of Music Education

Whether your child is the next Beyonce or more likely to sing her solos in the shower, she is bound to benefit from some form of music education. Research shows that learning the do-re-mis can help children excel in ways beyond the basic ABCs.

More Than Just Music
Research has found that learning music facilitates learning other subjects and enhances skills that children inevitably use in other areas. “A music-rich experience for children of singing, listening and moving is really bringing a very serious benefit to children as they progress into more formal learning,” says Mary Luehrisen, executive director of the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, a not-for-profit association that promotes the benefits of making music.

Making music involves more than the voice or fingers playing an instrument; a child learning about music has to tap into multiple skill sets, often simultaneously. For instance, people use their ears and eyes, as well as large and small muscles, says Kenneth Guilmartin, cofounder of Music Together, an early childhood music development program for infants through kindergarteners that involves parents or caregivers in the classes.

“Music learning supports all learning. Not that Mozart makes you smarter, but it’s a very integrating, stimulating pastime or

Music and Student Development

Music educators feel, and have observed, that student involvement in school music has a positive impact on other areas of their lives. These educators will tell you that musical involvement improves a student’s self-discipline, dexterity, coordination, self-esteem, thinking skills, listening skills, creative abilities and personal expression. Most music educators, however, are not aware of specific research that ill support these feelings and observations.

The Gemeinhardt Company conducted two major surveys in the 1980’s about the school band movement. They interviewed band directors, music dealers, parents (band and non-band) and students (band and non-band). In the first Gemeinhardt study, the responses indicate that the majority of people surveyed in all categories recognize many of the benefits a student can receive from being in a band program. Those benefits are: accomplishment, appreciation, discipline, fun, active participation and maturing relationships.1 The survey of band parents found that 96% of them agree that “many people don’t know or understand the benefits of band.” In fact, 95% of the non-band parents surveyed felt that band provides educational benefits not found in other classrooms and that 78% of the same group felt that band is more educational than extracurricular. Band directors surveyed talk in general terms about

8 Great Tips to Learn English Through Songs and Music

What’s the key to learning English well?

Is it determination and persistence?

Or is it something that people are just born with?

I think it’s neither of those things.

The key is to make learning English fun through the right tools and habits.

And one of the best tools was sitting right there all along, right inside your smartphone.

If you haven’t already been doing it, it’s not too late to start – to learn English through songs and music.


Why Learn English Through Songs and Music?

So what is it about songs that make them such effective English language learning tools?

  • It works. There is considerable scientific evidence that demonstrates how music can help second language learners acquire grammar and vocabulary and improve spelling. Then there is the so-called “Mozart Effect”, the concept that listening to classic musical boosts the performance of mental tasks like learning.
  • Everyday language and colloquial speech. Songs and music almost always contain a lot of useful vocabulary, phrases and expressions. And since the intended audience is native speakers, songs and music include up-to-date language and colloquialisms. The language used in songs is casual and actually usable, if you pick the right music.
  • Get familiar with the sound of English. Listening to songs will also allow you to focus on your
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