Serious question – how long can you go without listening to music?
I honestly don’t know the answer to it and it’s not an experiment that I’m about to try.
I do recall about ten or eleven years ago being on holiday in the USA with the kids and, about eight or nine days in, I realised that something didn’t feel quite right. I felt tense and out of sorts. It took me a wee while to figure out what it was that was bothering me. It was a lack of music. I hadn’t heard a tune in over a week! We were having a fantastic trip but, when we had been out and about in the car, my uncle had been playing story CDs for the kids. (The Baby Snooks radio shows from the 1940’s to be exact – these have to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. Check them out on You Tube) Even in the house the radio hadn’t been on and we’d not watched anything on TV other than the news or kids’ cartoons.
My music drought ended the next day when the kids and I spent a couple of hours on the town beach at Cape May NJ. I borrowed Boy Child’s mp4 player. Paradise City has never sounded so good!
These days I’m surrounded by music. (Wasn’t risking the trauma of another drought!) My iPod is always on via the docking station while I’m in the kitchen. In the car, there’s always music on. At lunchtimes, if I go for a walk, my ear buds are safely snuggled in my ears and the music is playing. Bliss!
The benefits of listening to music have long been heralded. Charles Darwin is quoted as once having remarked, “If I had my life to live over again, I would have made a rule to read some poetry and listen to some music at least once a week.”
Scientific research has proven that when you listen to music that you enjoy, your brain releases the “feel good” neurotransmitter, dopamine, thereby generating a natural high.
Another study found that listening to your favourite tunes reduced levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, in the body.
A study conducted in the Netherlands determined that listening to music while driving can enhance the driver’s mood which leads to safer, calmer driving habits. (I’m not sure about the safer bit but I do remember, a long time ago, my mother was playing Strauss waltzes while she was driving. She is a particularly nervous driver! On that occasion though, she “waltzed” happily round a twisty section of road humming and smiling to herself!)
To quote Berthold Auerbach, a 19th Century German-Jewish poet and author, “Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
I couldn’t agree more!
So the next time you’re feeling a little frazzled or a bit downhearted, dust off that iPod or dig out your CDs or even better your old vinyl and fill your heart with some of your favourite tunes.
You’ll be amazed at how good it makes you feel!
(images sourced via Google)