Music and Wellness for Organizations
In music, we find the intersection of our physical, emotional, and social selves. Music can both build our anticipation and calm our anxiety. Our memory associations with specific songs and musical styles trigger emotional responses, and when there are positive associations, dopamine – a neurotransmitter that accelerates learning through pleasure – is released. Even just listening to music activates sensorimotor feedback loops which help our brains and bodies synchronize. Engaging in music with others facilitates synchronized social connection through sensory experience.
This makes music one of the most powerful tools to simultaneously facilitate wellness work within different domains. Melody, rhythm, harmony, and structure are elements of music that can be altered to facilitate physical and emotional responses. Music and wellness work uses activities such as songwriting, lyric analysis, improvisation, and music guided relaxation to activate greater autonomy over our social, emotional, and physical selves.
Music Therapy for Staff Mindfulness and Team Building
Engaging in music can be a personal and intimate experience, but it can also connect us to one another through shared, emotional experience (Koelsch, 2018). Unique outcomes are possible when music is used intentionally, and because of its various elements (rhythm, timbre, tempo, emotional association, etc), music has the potential to affect multiple areas of the brain simultaneously (Sena Moore, 2017). Rhythm and music can be utilized to strengthen and prune existing neural pathways; access dopaminergic regions of the brain responsible for motivation, reward, and learning; organize information in predictable, recognizable ways; and integrate sensory systems to manage stress and arousal (Stegemöller, 2014). Music therapy involves the intentional use of music by a board-certified music therapist to target and influence physical, social, emotional, and cognitive outcomes for individuals and groups.