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Isolated? Part Two: The Power of Music


As I was (virtually) meeting my clients this week, I realized that, by now, home life could be pretty chaotic if we haven't come up with solutions so we can all stay healthy - and sane.

First, the psychological: Our frame of mind forms the foundation of our responses and our ability to cope. For instance, taking the high road by helping each other as much as possible (instead of playing the blame game). Understanding: We're all in this together! Not just our families, our communities, our schools, sports, businesses, but the world.

Italians really know how to make the best of any situation: I just enjoyed some video clips of quarantined Italians singing joyfully together from their apartment balconies (picture a scene in the classic Hitchcock movie, "Rear Window"). Even an opera singer was serenading her neighbors with an aria. What spirit! I have a vision of my neighbors and I singing from our windows and front stoops. Hmmm... What aria will we bellow out to each other?

I'm serious. Soprano Renée Fleming and the National Institutes of Health teamed up to research the effects of music on the brain. The initiative is called "Sound Health: An NIH-Kennedy Center Partnership." Some initial scientific findings:

  • Music helps brain networks mediate emotion, relieve stress and help treat depression,
  • Musical training can foster the development of a variety of nonmusical skills in children,
  • Music therapy can help childhood cancer patients cope with the stress of treatment,
  • Music may help relieve pain, including its impact on several brain circuits and pathways, and
  • Musical activities benefit the aging brain, including promising applications in people with Parkinson’s disease, stroke, or dementia
    National Institutes of Health
    National Institutes of Health

I don't know about you, but I'm CALLING ALL NEIGHBORS!