Ripping Music and Reliving Music Associations

One of my tasks this day is to rip music to my iTunes account from the CDs that I own. I'm doing this because I am always and forever screwing up my music library in iTunes and because I found that lots of my music disappeared again. So, I am sitting in front of the computer, putting CDs into the disc drive, and revisiting the music as I encounter it yet again.

There's the CD that I bought for a client who communicated through Wiggles songs. There's one that the folks asked me to purchase to assist clients in falling asleep. Once folks learned that they would have to listen to the same music every single night to assist clients in falling asleep, they were no longer interested. The music was "boring" they said. THAT'S THE POINT, PEOPLE! Relaxation and conditioning - same thing, consistency, etc. Well, I now have a very relaxing CD to listen to when I need to be bored into sleep.

I love the fact that music exposure leads to extra-musical associations. I love it when someone says, "that song reminds me of...," and I REALLY love it when someone says, "Oh, now I remember this and this" when they hear a song. I've studied music for incidental learning, and my sister uses this technique with her second graders all the time. They have songs for parts of speech. Humming a bit of the melody reminds the seven year old brain of the educational concepts that they have studied. The melody sparks the brain into finding the relevant information. Isn't that the greatest thing??

I still remember the song we composed in fifth grade to remember the layers of the plant stem. Small thing, isn't it? The layers of a plant stem, but that song has put it indelibly in my brain. No one will be able to use that song to reach that part of my brain except for one of my fifth grade cohort. I better write it down and teach it to every single music therapy student that I interact with in the future so that my music therapist can spark that corner of my brain. I'll start with my next intern. She'll know the layers of a plant stem song!

As we are finding out more and more about brain function and music, we are now knowing the reasons why music is such a powerful tool. We can look inside the brain as it is working now and see some of the mechanisms in play. This is amazing and continues to reinforce the reasons why music therapy is something that works with so many different types of people.

Time to rip. See you tomorrow for a Synthesis Sunday post!


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