Music Psychologists consider music as a powerful medium. Music has a convincing impact in most, if not all, aspects of our lives. Music can alter the mood of an individual, serve as a messenger of thoughts, and even stimulate the mind. People appreciate the power of music by watching a movie/film without any music whatsoever. Imagine all shows in the television being void of music. You have an idea on how to appreciate the power and influence of music.
Many individuals have experienced a situation where they hear a particular song anywhere – in your car, malls, home etc. – and all types of emotions arise based on past events. This is an example of associating those events with that song or music. Music alone has power.
Music indeed has a lot of power over individuals and may influence their emotions and decisions. Personally, I am very sensitive to music. I use music in several ways from uplifting myself or others and sustaining that mental and spiritual attitude.
Music is used in a professional setting as a means of therapy. Consider the following definition for “music therapy” that was taken from the American Music Therapy Association (http://www.musictherapy.org): Music Therapy is an established healthcare profession that uses music to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals of all ages. Music therapy improves the quality of life for persons who are well and meets the needs of children and adults with disabilities or illnesses. Music therapy interventions can be designed to: promote wellness, manage stress, alleviate pain, express feelings, enhance memory, improve communication and promote physical rehabilitation. Music is utilized in a professional setting as a means of therapy. Music indeed is powerful and very influential.
The great philosopher, Plato, made the following comment about the affects of music. “In order to take the spiritual temperature of an individual or society, one must mark the music.”
Socrates also recognized the affects of music. He considered it an instrument of indoctrination and character development. He stated: “Musical training is a more potent instrument than any other, because rhythm and harmony find their way into the inward places of the soul, on which they mightily fasten, imparting grace, and making the soul of him who is rightly educated graceful, or of him who is ill-educated ungraceful.” He also understood the significance of training while still in the time of youth. “. . . now in the days of his youth, even before he is able to know the reason why” (taken from http://www.amazingdiscoveries.org/music_socrates.htm).
Music is very powerful. It influences us and it can set the stage for many things mentally and spiritually. Music and Worship should be studied and taken seriously when used for spiritual practices – as used for guidance and healing – our relationship with God is still the foundation of life, music makes the relationship sweeter. Celebrate Music! Celebrate Life!