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How does Music affect Your Mind by Seán M Kelly

by inspire on June 8, 2012

Let the music keep your Spirits high – Christy Moore

Have you ever had an experience whereby you hear a piece of music and suddenly you are back to a vivid event from your past? Maybe it was your first dance with your partner? Maybe it was a time when you won something? Maybe it was a funeral?

Over the years as well as teaching people about how to use more of their minds potential I have performed and taught a lot of music in many different places. One such place is at funerals.

I’ve had the honour of playing bagpipes at many many funerals for people from all walks of life. In such situations it is very apparent that music has an emotional language of its own. No matter who is at the funeral from very wealthy people, to people paying respects to a murdered gang member, to people who don’t even understand the language being spoken at the funeral the music will open their hearts and in many cases move them to tears. We actually don’t need to say anything just perform or play music and that can connect us at a much deeper level.

In fact music can be used as a great aid to help us manage our emotions in many ways. I always encourage my kids to play music which helps them feel inspired while studying. Do you have some music which can instantly change your state of mind? Go to most gyms, to dance classes, zumba classes, circuit training, spinning classes – when music is played it makes a massive difference. Or just look at how many people listen to their ipods while jogging.

Recently a friend of mine from Washington State in the US, singer/songwriter, Jenny Brice ( sent me an amazing video of how music affected an old man in a nursing home who had (judging from the video) more or less stopped communicating. The research was  carried out by Dr Oliver Sachs, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center. Commenting on the miraculous power of music to heal a damaged brain, Dr Sachs says:

“Remembering music, listening to it or playing it, is entirely in the present, and, while it lasts, it can bridge even the abyss of extreme amnesia or dementia. Music can be more powerful than any drugs.” – Dr. Oliver Sacks

So here’s the video for you to watch. It’s quite amazing to say the least what it reveals (viewed over 6 million times as at June 2012). The question is how can we use what this video reveals to us, to help the elderly in society and indeed help us all? Remember if you’ve any comments or suggestions just click on comments below and share them. Enjoy!

Be Inspired! Sean

Sean M Kelly B.Sc. Dip (Appl.Sc) MNLP
Professional & Personal Development Trainer/Coach, Musician & Author

PS: What music do you love? Make sure to listen to it … often!

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Roibeard McElroy June 8, 2012 at 11:11 am

So so moving. Ineffably and infinitely so! What a revelation.. Blessings Sean.


Ailish June 8, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Very interesting indeed. So heart warming, definitely touches the soul somewhere very, very special.


Sean M Kelly June 8, 2012 at 2:10 pm

Hi Roibeard, absolutely very revealing for sure.

Sean M Kelly June 8, 2012 at 2:11 pm

Hi Ailish, thanks for your comment and yes it’s soul touching for sure.

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