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Music and the Human Bond

Think for just a minute about the way that music is used to connect human beings. From the first moment that a mother sings a lullaby to her new infant, the imprint of loving sound is imprinted on that baby’s psyche. After just a few hearings the infant will associate that pleasant sound with safety, love and warmth. Mothers (and fathers!) have been singing and lulling their infants with sound from time immemorial. We now know that when a mother sings to her infant, her brain releases oxytocin just as when she breastfeeds. This chemical immediately strengthens the bond between mother and child and makes the mother feel more maternal and loving toward her child. Throughout that child’s life, hearing that song or lullaby will bring back those warm, fuzzy feelings.

This is but one example of how music bonds people one-on-one, but think also of the groups that are bonded together with song, music or chant. Nearly every college university has an “Alma Mater,” a song that is sung at sporting events, reunions, and other ceremonial gatherings. “Alma Mater” means “our mother” and is sung in a most reverent and emotional way. Just think of all the world religions that use hymns, chants, and other songs of praise as an integral part of their worship. At the conclusion of the service, people invariably report that they feel closer to one another and also more resolved to practice the beliefs of their faith. People choose the music for their weddings and even their funerals based on what has been most meaningful in their lives. Music brings comfort as well as pleasure and memories are immediately triggered with music from different times in our lives.

How many couples connect just because they have the same taste in music? The kind of music one likes reflects many things about what kind of music their family listened to when they were children to what kind of music their friends listen to as well as the kind of music they are naturally drawn to. (There really is no right or wrong in musical taste. When I am working with a person therapeutically I always try to honor their taste in music and find music for them that is healing but agreeable to their taste in music too.) I talk to many couples who have been together for 50 years or more and invariable they tell me that they have “their song” or songs that they always want to hear on their anniversary or special times together.

In addition to the reasons mentioned so far, there is the vibro-acoustic aspect of this. When people stand together and sing a song or chant that is meaningful to them, they create a vibration field in that moment that is like a delicate web connected their energy fields. After participating in a group song, chant, or even a cheer at a sporting event, they feel changed and energized at a new level. This is powerful! Imagine what a football game would be like without the cheerleaders and the fans all cheering their team on in unison. That’s what PEP rallies are all about. Singing of any kind is a way to focus mind and body. Remember in kindergarten when the kids all sang “Good morning to YOU”? This is a way to calm, center and focus energy. It’s so much more pleasant and productive that just shouting for everyone to sit down and be quiet!!

Think of all the ways that you can begin to use music and sound for bonding with the people you love and respect. And please
write to me and tell me about it!

About Author Dr. Alice Cash: Helping people to use music for Healing and Wellness. Dr. Cash stresses the use of music for health, learning, motivation, relaxation, energy building, or well-being. She is known internationally for her work with music and pregnancy, surgery, addictions, and Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Cash can be reached through Healing Music Enterprises. (www.healingmusicenterprises.com)

You may reproduce Dr. Cash's articles as long as your use the complete version without editing including the last paragraph.
Music and the Human Bond; © Dr. Alice Cash

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