It is a point in the semester where a lot of stuff is just thrown onto our plates. School work, extracurriculars, ethnomusicological observations, and leisure time all need space in my day, but I only have 24 hours. I found a common denominator in all this stuff: I listen to music through all of them. The last on the list, leisure time, is the most interesting to me because music has become a bit of a therapeutic device. I never thought of music in this light, but some songs really clear my mind and allow me to slow everything down. When I decide to take a 15 minute break, I have compiled a few songs that I play in my room to allow me to catch my breath as I power though this busy time in my life.
My first semester ended with a very stressful week. an exorbitant amount of work blindsided me, and I shut down. I sat in my room, quiet, and calculated how low my GPA could get depending on how poorly I did on my 4 exams and 3 papers in the final week. In my second semester I realized I needed a new approach. I do my best to live stress free, and it seems the biggest change I have made is my short decompress sessions accompanied by my favorite songs.
The playlist I have been listening to consists of a wide range of genres. “Volare” by Dean Martin, “2 phones” by Kevin Gates, Bruce Springsteen classics, “Hay al Amanacer” by Nicky Jam, and “3 Peat” by Lil’ Wayne make for a well rounded grouping of songs. I won’t do work while I sit on my futon, I just listen.
I did a little research to find out if music is actually used in practice to be a therapeutic device, and I was pleasantly surprised that many have used it to settle down. I found that
- Music can decrease pain through sensory, attentional, and emotional/affective
- Music can enhance initiation of movement through innate responses to the
rhythmic elements of music.
These are just the technical reasons behind why music can work in this way, but I highly recommend just chilling out, and listening to some great tunes at this time in the year.
Works Cited: “Therapeutic Uses of Botulinum Toxin.” (2007): n. pag. Web. 23 Apr. 2016.