#HCLDR Chat – April 9 2013 – Medicine and Music – Take 2

Our Health Care Leader Tweet Chat Medicine and Music was an amazing collection of powerful tweets that came into view with lightening speed. The response regarding Music and Medicine has been powerful.  So many folks have generously shared their unique contributions regarding Music and Medicine.

These contributions are so valuable and unique we hope you will invest your time exploring each one.

The Questions for the chat can be found at the bottom of our post.

Katherine Ellington

Music and Medicine:  Notes on Muse for Healing

“The music in my heart I  love

Long after it was heard no more.”

-William Wordsworth

About your ear and hearing

Understanding the complex work of hearing begins with understanding the anatomical parts and function of the ear. Here’s a video clip:

Music opens different neurological pathways beyond speech hearing.  In a CNN report  Dr. Charles Limb says:

I think there’s enough evidence to say that musical experience, musical exposure, musical training, all of those things change your brain…it allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also trains a lot of other cognitive facilities that have nothing to do with music.

Did you watch his TEDMED talk on “Building the Musical Muscle”

Music in your (h)ear(t)

You hear 26 million heart beats while in the womb according to Dr. Joanne Loewy, Director of the Louis Armstrong Center for Music and Medicine at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City.  The very first musical (muscle) sounds we hear come from the rhythm of the maternal heart beat and for the rest of lives music moves us. While hearing impairment may come with aging, songs can remain within brains and hearts.

In my caregiving, I’ve listened to an elderly family member sing every verse of spiritual songs she learned when growing up and throughout life. She can also some name songs and singers after only hearing a few notes while watching television or listening to the radio. She also suffers with memory loss that keeps her from a daily routine, often leaves her confused and asking the same questions repeatedly.  Progressive hearing loss in another and different challenge for her health.

According to a recent JAMA article researchers see a relationship between hearing loss and cognitive decline. Yet music seems to influence our brains despite deafness.  Ludwig van Beethoven composed music without the function of his ear and his music was influenced by his worsening deafness with age.

Music in community: Singing in the Choir

So much of the workings of our brain with music still remains beyond the realm of scientific understanding, but researchers are making some progress.  Did you know that choral singing in 32.5 million adults  in the United States regularly sing in a choir.  (Chorus America Survey, 2009). Does choral singing in foster health and well-being? Dr. Julene Johnson at the Institute for Health & Aging at University of California, San Francisco is exploring this question through research with community choirs.

Chorus America Tweet1

When you watch Bobbie McFerrin teach the pentatonic scale you witness the universal power of music in community. From Note & Neurons: In Search of the Common Chorus at The World Science Festival:

Whether you sing in the shower, in the choir or listen whatever your preferences and selections it seems clear that music is good medicine with preventive and healing power.

Katherine Ellington is a physician in training, health equity advocate and storyteller.  She enjoys all kinds of music. You’ll can find her Twitter @katellington and she blogs at World House Medicine.

Dr. Diana Driscoll sent her contribution to #HCLDR by sending us this tweet:

Diana Driscoll Tweet 1

Dr. Ross Martin shared the following tweet with us during out chat:

Ross Martin Tweet 1

This is his link to the song “Give me my Damn Data. http://www.youtube.com/user/nitramssor

Ross is also the founder of The American College of Medical Informatimusicology @ACMImimi . He shared the following invitation for us in this tweet:

ACMImimi Tweet 1

This is the link for the American College of Medical Informatimusicology: Membership Application. A number of folks have already sent in their applications and it would be wonderful to have those of us who are passionate about music and medicine all become members. http://www.acmimimi.org/p/membership-application.html

Diana even shared her application to ACMimimi on her YouTube:

Dr. Henry Woo is the author of this blog post:  No Classical Music in my Operating Room Please

Henry encouraged us to read the comments from his post. It was wonderful to see comments made by our #HCLDR folks Stephen Brown and Dr. Rajiv Singal

Rajiv shared an amazing blog post with us that talks about the huge potential of Music as medicine

Patricia Anderson these links below as her contribution:

This Saturday I shared a tweet with New York Times reporter Pam Belluck thanking her for her powerful article Dementia Care Cost is Projected to Double by 2040

She was kind enough to send a tweet back and then I noticed she is also a musician.

PamBelluck Tweet 1

I’d encourage you all to listen to this piece of music Pam wrote. You can download her tune from her tweet:

PamBelluck Tweet 2

Questions for our chat:

T1:  Why do you think so many of us are passionate about music and medicine?

T2: Suddenly you receive a large sum of money and you can spend it on music within your area of influence. How would you invest your money for music resources?

– Lisa

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One comment

  1. […] is music + healing, a concept we have explored a few times on #hcldr (see prior blogs here, here and here). Another, more classic example is Disney + healthcare – something that many people […]

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