A Review on the Phenomenological Study on Bach for Anxiety: Music Psychology Center

Fighting anxiety caused by the COVID 19 pandemic is essential to mental health programs of every country in crisis. The Music Psychology Center-MPC, located in Angeles City has utilized classical music, specifically Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on Strings in G”, for individuals coping with stress and anxiety. Sixty-nine (69) respondents were initially exposed to the classical piece and majority had positive psychological benefits in coping with anxiety. This phenomenological approach for investigating variables was significantly effective and more research should be conducted on the positive psychological benefits of Bach’s music in anxiety intervention programs.
Majority of the respondents felt calming effects of Bach’s “Air on Strings in G” in their initial intervention. As they listen to it more, the positive effects significantly increased as they reported to have been coping with their anxiety in their daily activities. They were able to do the daily activities, step by step, improving day by day, in which they could not execute before their exposure to Bach’s music.
On the other hand, a few have cited that Bach’s “Air on Strings in G” had limited effects on their coping with anxiety, when listening to the piece they would feel the psychological effects of calmness, peace of mind, serenity and security, it only lasted for a while after they have listened to the music. Their anxiety would come back as thoughts of threat and insecurities slowly emerge again right after to their exposure to the classical piece.
Moreover, despite of the short-term effects o their psychological well-being, the study still considers the significant benefits of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on Strings in G”. As recorded in this phenomenological approach, the positive psychological effects of Bach’s music were still evident however short it may last. Out of the sixty-nine (69) respondents, ten (10) of them indicate this short-term effect of Bach’s music. As they finished listening to the musical piece, negative thoughts arise again and they had to listen to the music more often compared than the other respondents who just listen every morning. Considering this phenomena, further studies should be conducted to supplement and strengthen the intervention for their coping with anxiety.
The study will continue to investigate and determine alternative approaches and methods in terms of classical music to be useful for positive psychological effects in coping with stress and anxiety on the respondents. As cited in the literature review, “One large study of 20,000 people showed music changes mood and the changes in mood were very uniform. A large number of people listened to classical music by various composers from various musical periods and were asked how the music made them feel. Another study showed that the effects of mood varied from person to person depending on their musicality. Non-musical people enjoy music rarely and when they do, Fighting COVID 19 Anxiety with Music 11the enjoyment is slight, while semi-musical people enjoy music quite often and when they do, it is enjoyable to them, while musical people enjoy music rarely, due to discriminating tastes, but when they do, it is with the greatest intensity.” – Pelayo (2019)
Furthermore, “Whether you choose Bach, Beethoven, or Mozart, classical music can have a marked effect on your stress levels and in turn your blood pressure. A University of San Diego study compared changes in blood pressure in individuals who were asked to listen to classical, jazz, or pop selections. Those who listened to classical music had significantly lower systolic blood pressure levels after the experiment when compared to participants who heard no music at all or were assigned to other musical styles.” – therapyinbarcelona (2011)
To conclude, “Neurologist Dr. Michael Schneck found that classical music helps relieve anxiety. More and more studies are finding that music helps lower cortisol levels, which are associated with stress. A post by Lottoland on how music is good for your health, states that it also increases blood flow by 26%, laughter by 16% and relaxation by 11%. Indeed, research published in Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice studied 180 patients and found that listening to natural sounds, classical Turkish or Western music helped reduced anxiety by lowering cortisol levels, blood pressure and heart rate. While they all led to positive attributes, the classical Turkish music proved to be the most effective in stress and anxiety relief. Music is universal. Classical music especially promotes this universality through emotive instrumentals. Even if the piece does involve a foreign language, the instrumentals work to convey the feeling of the song. That being said, music is also a great way to counter loneliness and isolation.” – La Scena Musicale (2019).
Recommendations for further studies on the psychological benefits of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Air on Strings in G” should be conducted, and this phenomenological study should continue to all sixty-nine (69) respondents in order to identify and determine factors and variables that may be beneficial for coping with stress and anxiety. Music Psychology Center – MPC is the first I Pampanga, Philippines that has the capability to conduct phenomenological studies regarding music psychology and their significant psychological benefits to individuals coping with stress and anxiety.
“Once you realize that music transcends entertainment, that is the only time you could fathom the accurate utilization of certain types of music to specific mental or cognitive functioning and enhancement” – Pelayo (2019) iorbitnews.com

ResearchGate.com: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/340952731_Fighting_COVID_19_Anxiety_with_Music_A_Phenomenological_Study_on_Bach’s_Air_on_Strings_in_G_for_Stress_and_Anxiety. Pelayo III, Jose Maria. (2020). Fighting COVID 19 Anxiety with Music: A Phenomenological Study on Bach’s “Air on Strings in G” for Stress and Anxiety. DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.23418.44488.
Music Psychology Center: [email protected]

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