playing music is good for your mental health?
  • when you hear music to your liking, it has positive effects on mood. Music can make us feel strong emotions, such as joy, sadness, or fear.
    some will agree that it has the power to move us. music may even have the power to improve our health and well being.
    what is your opinion?
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,930
    we are made for the praise and glory of God, especially through singing. we are exhorted all throughout the Word of God to sing His praise.

    "Let everything that has breath, praise the Lord."

    If we refuse to sing, I go so far as to say we dishonor God's desire for us.


    of course, i didn't really say anything about our health and well being which was the point of our OP... perhaps it goes without saying that whatever God commands us to do is always for our good and that would include our health and well being.
  • CatherineS
    Posts: 498
    I'd think it does rather depend on the circumstances: playing heavy metal for 13 hours straight while on drugs at a nightclub might have a different mental effect than singing psalms for 13 hours straight in a monastery chapel, just to give an exaggerated example.

    I do personally find the careful study of religious music pleasant and intellectually invigorating, in most circumstances. That's not very scientific though. ;)
    Thanked by 2Carol CharlesW
  • Regarding the subject of this thread: Not when I'm playing "In dir ist Freude" - Bach. Oh! Those trills in the pedal!
  • a_f_hawkins
    Posts: 2,093
    Vigourous exercise is good for both physical and mental health!
  • There is scientific evidence that choral singing increases serotonin levels in the brain as much as that of a low dose SSRI. As someone with relatively mental illness, the shutdown of all things musical has made me have to go to medication rather than group music.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Some decades ago I read of a post Vatican II European monastery whose monks had fallen into depression, ill temper, and general unhappiness. After some analysis of the situation by mental health experts it was determined that the cause of this malaise was that the monks had discontinued their Gregorian chant in a misguided and misinformed response to what many thought was 'Vatican II'. The monastery restored the chant and the monks returned to their happy and content selves.

    As most here likely will know, the awareness or observation that music affects well-being, can cause happiness or sadness, morality or immorality, joy or anger, is as old as the Greeks and other ancients. It is specifically and famously discussed by Plato in the Republic.

    I can attest that trashy music has a negative effect on my nervous system and mind so extreme that I would have difficulty finding words to describe it - and, if I found them I fain would shrink from using them.

    On the other hand, I am filled with joy, prayerfulness, thoughtfulness, amusement, and more at the sound of most anything from our patrimony of choral music, chamber music, concerted music, or solo instrumental music..... Such music is intellectually stimulating (and therefore entertaining!) and spiritually enriching - it is often even ennobling; and, in that it is a healthy, beautiful, and morally sound use of God's musical gifts to us, it definitely 'praises God'.
  • bhcordovabhcordova
    Posts: 838
    playing heavy metal for 13 hours straight
    that's a little too much metal even for me!
    Thanked by 1CatherineS
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,930
    playing heavy metal for 13 hours straight while on drugs at a nightclub might have a different mental effect

    I don't think this falls under the category of 'praising the Lord'
    Thanked by 1KARU27
  • An excellent book about healthy music and the morality of music is

    Music and Morals: A Theological Appraisal of the Moral and Psychological Effects of Music
    By Basil Cole, OP
    Publisher: Alba House, New York (1996)
    ISBN - 0-8189-0660-X
    (It is available currently from Amazon for about $20.)

    Many here will be familiar with this book, but for those who may not be this is one of the finest books on the subject.
  • you know music is a powerful thing. Aside from its entertainment value, listening to music is known to have incredible positive effects to our brain. More specifically, music can change the way we act, feel and think.
  • KARU27
    Posts: 117
    I think of music as a direct pathway to communicating with the soul.
    When I hear good choral music, especially unexpectedly, it brings tears to my eyes instantly. It almost feels like it is literally "pulling on my heartstrings". I am a string player so I don't have the same reaction to most instrumental music, as I tend to analyze it as I listen. I think people who do not have extensive musical training respond to music differently than those people who do have music training.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    There was a study some many years ago at one college where they measured blood pressure, heart rate and such among musicians and non-musicians who listed to various music. The non-musicians calmed down and relaxed. The tension level in the musicians went up along with blood pressure. The study concluded that trained musicians don't listen so much for pleasure but analyze and pick apart what they hear. We kind of learn to do that in college.
    Thanked by 2francis Carol
  • All I'll add is that "music therapy" is a real thing and there are specialists in it who visit hospitals and nursing homes. Music has a measurable affect on people such that even the scientific community has accepted it; all of this in spite of the obvious spiritual effects which have been well known for centuries. People wouldn't sing in the shower or car if it didn't bring them some modicum of relaxation and pleasure. Most of us avoid those things which induce the opposite.
    Thanked by 1Carol
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    I love music but will admit that at times, I also truly hate it. Perhaps only musicians will understand that.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Could you elaborate on that?
    I have days or weeks, or even months. in which I am enthralled with the music of a certain period or genre, or even prefer silence, but I never hate music
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    Some days a bit of silence is good. We live in a too noisy world.
  • We do indeed, Charles -
    Schopenhauer made the observation that intelligence decreases in inverse proportion to one's ability to withstand noise undisturbed.
    Some studies have borne this out.
    While music is good for our health, mental and otherwise, noise is destructive, mean, and inhuman.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,930
    BAd music will also cause you to hate (bad) music.
    Thanked by 2CharlesW Carol
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,141
    It would be interesting to see data for the Schopenhauer hypothesis. One of my early mentors (Floyd Glende, founder of the Humbolt chamber music workshops) maintained that if two quartets complained about rehearsing in the same room it was only because they needed to develop their powers of concentration, and he considered this a highly useful exercise!
  • Some years ago (I cannot remember names) I read of a prominent rock star who had been invited to sit in on a rehearsal of a prominent symphony orchestra. After the rehearsal was over the said rock star was asked what he thought of what he had heard. His only response was 'Wow, I had no idea that you could make that much noise without amplification'. That's all he heard and all that music making was to him - noise - as is evidenced in the unholy music noise that these people make. Is it any wonder that their 'music' is deeply disturbing and damaging to body, mind, nervous system, and spirit? I'm sure that Plato wouldn't be surprised.
  • francisfrancis
    Posts: 8,930
    Did anybody ever think about the fact that when speaking normal english, there are many more percussive (lip bursting droplet projectiles) occuring as opposed to the melismatic chant not to mention that we are not facing each other as when in conversation? Huge differences.
    Thanked by 1marymezzo
  • I've also read of studies in which rock music was played in a room that had a variety of plants sitting around. The plants invariably began to wilt, with many of them dying. When classical music was played in a similar room the plants flourished and grew.

    In another incident several naval vessels were attempting to coax a stranded whale out of a particular small bay. When their attempts were unsuccessful they made inquiries and were told to play amplified music and that the whale would respond. So, they did so but the whale became agitated and did not respond. Upon further inquiries they were asked what kind of music they had played. When they answered that they had played rock music they were told to play Beethoven. After doing so the whale followed them out to sea.
    Thanked by 1ServiamScores
  • Richard MixRichard Mix
    Posts: 2,141
    I'm sorry to miss any swipe at rock music, but neither musical preferences of plants nor of whales passes a fact check.
    Thanked by 1M. Jackson Osborn
  • Thanks for the interesting references, Richard -
    But based on them I would say that the verdict is still out.
  • CharlesW
    Posts: 10,593
    If you mess up holy chant, babushka Olga beat holy fire out of you.
    Babushkas have canes and are not afraid to use them.
    Passes fact check.