Simply add music

Aged-man-playing-piano

Artists try all sorts of tricks to boost their creativity. One sure-fire way to get those juices flowing is to listen to music while you work. According to a study cited in a piece in Medical Daily, listening to “happy music” has a measurable effect on creativity. The study delved into a phenomenon known as the “Mozart Effect,” which suggests that listening to classical music is better than being in silence when trying to create.

The study had 155 participants attempt to perform creative tasks while listening to various kinds of music designed to cause a particular emotion, calm, happy, sad, or anxious. It turned out that people performed better while listening to Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, which represented happiness.

On the other hand, a number of other studies have cast doubt on the so-called “Mozart Effect” and have suggested that any kind of music is better for stimulating creativity than silence. One reason is that tastes in music vary from person to person. Some people like classical, while others like rock and roll, country, or even gangster rap. What kind of music helps to motivate the artist depends on his or her tastes and what kind of art is being undertaken.

The approach has obvious application for helping seniors retain and even boost some measure of creativity. Mental abilities, such like the physical kind, tend to remain sharp with practice. Adding the appropriate kind of music when a senior performs mental tasks could be just the stimulus that is needed to keep them sharp in their later years.

A good personal experiment would be to play various kinds of music and see how well they affect one’s creative output. One idea would be to set up a “mixtape” or playlist. Try out various sequences and types of music styles and see what works best.

In an aged care setting music has many therapeutic benefits, and is simply enjoyable, entertaining and relaxing. A lovely diversion in the day has residents feeling a little lighter and generally happier. What a simple gift!

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