Play Piano Today With Dr. J

Archive for March 2013

More on music and how it relates to release of endorphins.

Another article lists ten ways to “release endorphins.”  Three of these relate specifically to attending an event such as our Bach and Sons multi-media and organ experiences:

Use your senses – our experiences engage not only the aural sense of the audience member but also the visual sense as well.  The glorious music played by the organist and intriguing stories told by the narrator are brought to life by the constantly changing visuals projected on cinematic-sized screen.  Engaging the aural and visual senses serves to release endorphins in those captivated by the experience.

Include more music in your life – each of our organ and media shows presents the listener with a smorgasbord of music from the sublime and contemplative to the joyous and upbeat, from the simple melody to the most complex counterpoint thus enhancing endorphin production in those reveling in the music.

Socialize. When you simply interact with other humans, your body will release endorphins. This is why healthy social interactions are essential for a person’s health and well-being.  Attending our organ and media experiences provides opportunities for those healthy social interactions: opportunities to interact with other music-lovers; to share stories with other organists; to ask questions; to invite interaction among music-lovers of all levels, all of which release endorphins.[3]

So, why all the interest in endorphins and recognizing ways to enhance endorphin production through music?  The effect of endorphins is as an analgesic in the body to numb or dull pains, to promote feelings of well-being, and to increase relaxation.  Here’s to the power of music.

[3] How to Release Endorphins | Scott Douglas. How.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2063616_release-endorphins.html#ixzz2NG1TomTp

 

 

Last week, in the midst of our Bach and Sons concert tour, I wrote an article on the joy of music-making and music-sharing for my monthly organ studio newsletter.   I was on a “high” doing what I love most—performing and sharing our show with audiences—and wrote the article to help my students realize the “high” they will feel when performing on their upcoming Spring Concert.  Interestingly, after returning home, I was reading through the stack of magazines that had collected in our absence and discovered an article on studies being conducted on the concept of the endorphin rush.  Thus, the resulting compilation of thoughts and ideas.

Music has always exerted powerful physical and psychological effects on humans, but scientists have only recently made the connection of different types of music with the production of endorphins. Although music affects each individual differently, research has shown that classical, rock, heavy metal, and even the music in elevators produces specific physical and psychological effects. By judiciously choosing the types (and pieces) of music we most enjoy, we can enhance endorphin production in our everyday lives.

 

Studies also conclude that it is the active performance of music that generates the endorphin high.”[2]

[2] Evolutionary Psychology 10(4): 688-702 R. I. M. Dunbar, University of Oxford

Last week, in the midst of our Bach and Sons concert tour, I wrote an article on the joy of music-making and music-sharing for my monthly organ studio newsletter.   I was on a “high” doing what I love most—performing and sharing our show with audiences—and wrote the article to help my students realize the “high” they will feel when performing on their upcoming Spring Concert.  Interestingly, after returning home, I was reading through the stack of magazines that had collected in our absence and discovered an article on studies being conducted on the concept of the endorphin rush.  Thus, the resulting compilation of thoughts and ideas.

It’s not uncommon to hear someone talk about getting an “endorphin rush.” It is said that sex, exercise, even hot peppers — all sorts of things (like performing Bach and Sons or being actively engaged as an audience member at a Bach and Sons show) are credited for these euphoric highs. So what are endorphins, and are they really responsible for our feelings of excitement or satisfaction?

“Endorphins are your own private narcotic. Endorphins are neurotransmitters, chemicals that pass along signals from one neuron to the next and are produced as a response to certain stimuli, especially stress, fear or pain. They originate in various parts of your body — the pituitary gland, your spinal cord and throughout other parts of your brain and nervous system — and interact mainly with receptors in cells found in regions of the brain responsible for blocking pain and controlling emotion.

New imaging methods now allow researchers to study the ebb and flow of endorphins as they interact with human brain cells, verifying their role in the rush that exercise — and other triggers such as performing music — sometimes prompts.”[1]

1 Physiology of beta-endorphins. A close-up view and a review of the literature.  Dalayeun JF, Norès JM, Bergal S. Hôpital Suisse, Issy-les-Moulineaux, France



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