The Daily American reports that researchers at the Windber Research Institute are calling for volunteers to take part in a study to test the effects of music participation on stress reduction.
Prerequisites for taking part in the trial are:
- Must have a history of ischemic heart disease
- Must have had no musical training at any point in the past, even if years ago
- Must not be a keen puzzle solver
Darrell Ellsworth, PhD, senior director of the integrative cardiac and metabolic health program at WRI, is studying heart disease and breast cancer at the molecular level to improve patient treatment and care.
The hope is that by using Yamaha’s Clavinova digital pianos, which include a variety of functions to allow complete novices to play the piano, the study can test whether there is a reduction in levels of stress.
Yamaha Corp. of AmericaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s new Yamaha Music & Wellness Institute is collaborating with WRI on the study. Yamaha has donated eight Clavinovas to the institute and an $85,000 grant.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“While exercise and nutritional strategies abound, few enjoyable stress-reduction choices exist,Ã¢â‚¬? Dr. Barry Bittman, president of YMWI, said in a press release. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Recreational music making fills that extraordinary void.Ã¢â‚¬?
Volunteers will have a screening interview, followed by a three-hour research session. They will have to put together a jigsaw puzzle within a time limit to cause stress [hence the “no puzzlers” requirement!]. They then will have a period of relaxation consisting or either rest or group play on the Clavinovas. About one teaspoon of blood will be drawn three times. They will be paid $50.
Details of how to participate in this trial can be found in the original article, but I find the whole study fascinating, and totally plausible.
It’s true that many diseases and ailments can be either caused or exacerbated by stress, and I know for a fact that my stress levels often decrease by listening to music, and even more so by actually playing the piano Ã¢â‚¬â€ because I am then participating in music creation and have even greater control over how it influences me.
I look forward to hearing more about the scientific results, even though, anecdotally, I’m already sure it works.
(Via Daily American)