Discuss Music and Health.

Word limit: 2400 words In this assignment you need to create a playlist to promote your own personal health either physical or mental health. To do this, you will carefully choose music that suits the purpose of the playlist and draw on concepts and theory covered in lectures to strategically organise the order of songs. Actively listen to the music you choose for your playlist to test that it meets your intended purpose. Although you should choose either physical or mental health, you are welcome to draw on any literature from the different weeks of the semester that is relevant to explain the health benefits for you. You are very welcome to use first person throughout the assignment, given it reflects on your own experiences. Introduction (approx. 400 words): In the introduction, describe your selected purpose for the playlist and summarise key theories about how music could be used to promote the desired outcome. Clearly describe the process you used to create the playlist, stating how you went about selecting the songs and the order. Assignment body (approx. 1500 words): In the body of the assignment, list the order of the 10 pieces of music included in the playlist. The songs must be recorded and released pieces of music that your marker could look up and listen to if need be. Discuss your experience of each track and use the literature to explain how it either contributed to your identified health purpose, or how and why it was unsuccessful. Include descriptions of the musical aspects (the beat, style, structure etc) and non-musical aspects (associations, artists, lyrics etc) of the track that are relevant. You must draw on academic literature throughout the assignment to justify your claims about the benefits of music for this purpose. Dedicate approximately 120 words per song and include the song title and reference details as the subheading for each song (these titles are not included in the word count). Conclusion (approx. 400 words): In the conclusion, reflect on any potential mental or physical health benefits that may result for others through the construction of a playlist similar to yours, including any ideas you have about the use of music to promote health in the community. Headings: Use the songs as Headings for the body of the assignment. Please include reference to each song as the subheadings including Track Title, Performing Artist and year of publication, with information about the Composer and Record Company if information is relevant. Notes: We recommend APA6 referencing style, however, your references can be in any style as long as they are consistent. As stated in the description, you must include a full reference to the songs you use. All citations included in the body of the assignment must appear in the reference list according to your chosen referencing style. Include a minimum of 6 academic pieces of literature, integrated into the body of the assignment. You may choose to write the assignment in first or third person. The reference list and subheadings are not included in the word limit. In-text citations are included in the word limit. You may choose songs from any genre/style/culture (lyrics in languages other than English is perfectly fine). We allow 10% either side of the word limit for essays. Include the final word count on the front page of your essay. Your document should be in a doc or PDF format, please do not use a ‘pages’ format. assessment criteria: Integration of the literature into the explanations about the choice of each song. Capacity to critically reflect upon the potential use and challenges associated with songs and playlists. Why was it successful or not successful, and how does that confirm or contrast the literature? Clarity of writing and presentation. Successful and clear reporting of all tracks and citations in the text, and correct referencing of tracks and literature references according to APA 6 or other chosen style. Assignment examples: Example 1 (assignment opening): Muse of the Morn embodies a morning motivation playlist. The way in which the day is approached is quintessential to the events that occur throughout it. The mindset which ensues upon waking up can be fluctuating and dynamic. With the many stresses that accompany being a university student, this initial mindset is ever more important. Forgas (1995) asserts that moods are transient states which work to contextualize experiences as being either positive or negative. Hence, constructing an intrinsically positive outlook on the moments that lay ahead can transform ones physical and mental health and wellbeing. Mood self-regulation is vital to the human experience and these intrinsic states can be facilitated through music engagement (North et al., 2000; Saarikallio, 2011). Through becoming attuned to how pieces of music can regulate emotions, individuals can adjust their listening behaviours to promote the psychology of motivation and mindfulness (Saarikallio, 2010; Saarikallio & Erkkil, 2007). Through reflection and self-introspection, I recognised that my own experience of musicking, a term coined by Christopher Small (1998), gravitated towards mediating my mental capacity of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Personally, I am not a morning individual and hence, the playlist is curated with the aim to stimulate a positive and motivated mindset to lay a healthy foundation for my following behaviours and habits throughout the upcoming day. The ten songs selected for the playlist were chosen after a thorough process of elimination. A pool of approximately one hundred songs acted as contenders for the playlist. These songs, that I had developed an inclination to throughout the year of 2020, served as the optimal candidates as I knew that they already incited an associative emotion within me. Through scrutinization and analysis of this exhaustive list, after some time and experimentation, I was able to whittle my options down to ten songs that I believed would encapsulate an uplifting and supportive experience for the morning. Example 2 (assignment opening): As a university student, it is easy to become caught up in anxiety over deadlines and academic pressure. This stress is then exacerbated by the concerns of balancing study with work, me time, and every other activity in between. The scarcity of time to be able to fully appreciate and comprehend the present moment can be detrimental to both physical and mental health. Studies have demonstrated the benefits of mindfulness in promoting greater self-awareness and emotional regulation (Eckhardt & Dinsmore, 2012; Grocke, 2009). Being able to focus attention on the present moment in a non-judgmental way is a human capacity which that be practices and fostered. Using music as a resource in both meditative and non-meditative mindfulness has been shown to cultivate self-regulation, thereby promoting physiological balance (Steinfield & Brewer, 2015; Anderson, 2013). Having a clearer and healthier frame of mind can have myriad benefits on other domains of health and functioning, including potential improvements in mental capacity and study efficiency (Bell, McIntyre & Hadley, 2016; Salimpoor et al., 2011; Jacobssen et al., 2015), and physical health (Levitin, 2008). Example 3 (student explains the process of creating and sequencing the playlist): After choosing music that I thought would be appropriate for exercise motivation, I compiled a new playlist of 35 songs. Whilst listening, I rated each piece with the Brunel Music Rating Inventory-2 (Karageorghis et al., 2006) to assess the motivational properties of each track. This tool has reliable evidence to motivate adults participating in exercise (Clark et al., 2016), thus, I believed it to be an appropriate and efficient way to pre-select music for my exercise experience. Music that was rated with a score of 36 or higher was included in the playlist because it was assumed to be highly motivating. These songs were then ordered in a tempo arc (rising and falling in BPM) to prime my mind and body for exercise, motivate me to increase my exercise intensity and ease my mind and body out of the exercise experience. The intended purpose of the playlist also dictated that the flow between each song was congruent with this intention. Accordingly, the transitions between each song were highly considered due to the associations between subjective experience and exercise enjoyment (Karagheorghis et al., 2012). Music that is perceived as enjoyable and motivating may also distract the listener from the physiological-response mechanisms that occur during exercise, thus minimizing exertion and enhancing affect. Karageoghis et al., (2012) posit that the coalescing of these domains may increase ones enjoyment in exercise, thus increasing exercise compliance in a relational feedback loop that could engender a habitually enjoyable exercise experience. Therefore, the construction of my playlist intended to strike a balance between my physiological arousal and subjective experience to effectively manoeuvre my behaviour responses towards an increase in exercise motivation and enjoyment. Example 4 (student explains the process of creating and sequencing the playlist): Through reflection and self-introspection, I recognised that my own experience of musicking, a term coined by Christopher Small (1998), gravitated towards mediating my mental capacity of thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Personally, I am not a morning individual and hence, the playlist is curated with the aim to stimulate a positive and motivated mindset to lay a healthy foundation for my following behaviours and habits throughout the upcoming day. The ten songs selected for the playlist were chosen after a thorough process of elimination. A pool of approximately one hundred songs acted as contenders for the playlist. These songs, that I had developed an inclination to throughout the year of 2020, served as the optimal candidates as I knew that they already incited an associative emotion within me. Through scrutinization and analysis of this exhaustive list, after some time and experimentation, I was able to whittle my options down to ten songs that I believed would encapsulate an uplifting and supportive experience for the morning. Through trialling the playlist over a period of a few days, I was able to conceptualise how it could be employed within my daily routine. Initially, the order of the songs appeared to be discordant but after some manipulation, I was able to derive a seamless series of musical pieces. The playlist commences with the first couple songs inducing a state of meditative calmness; this is followed by tracks which aim to imbue the listener with feelings of contentment and inspiration in order to promote positive psychology (Hefferon & Boniwell, 2011). The contemporary movement of positive psychology, proposed by Seligman (1998) remained an overarching theme for the entirety of the playlist; I endeavored to explore how certain songs would promote optimal mental health and advertently a meaningful and engaged experience. Example 5 (student explains the process of creating and sequencing the playlist): The order of the playlist should correlate closely with the exercise schedule; that is, pre-task music is listened first prior to commencement of exercise, and has been shown to effectively stimulate through optimising arousal and other psychological states (Karageorghis, Terry, Lane, Bishop, & Priest, 2012). The first three pieces are slower in tempo, but are quite thick in texture and evoke liveliness and positivity, which tends to induce a more favourable response in extraverted people as they look to seek stimulation from the external environment (Karageorghis et al., 2012; Karageorghis & Priest, 2012; Clark, Baker, & Taylor, 2016). After the pre-task music, the song selections display an increase in overall tempo to match the task of jogging, whilst still using songs that I already enjoy, and maintaining an upbeat nature. Three of the songs contain lyrics that may play a key role in inducing motivational imagery, even though they may not relate directly to the physical activity (Priest & Karageorghis, 2008). Furthermore, the final song acts as a recovery piece, as slow classical music has been shown to relax participants and lower tension, enhancing the perfusion of blood and recovery (Karageorghis & Priest, 2012). Assignment body (excerpts only): describing the songs Example 1: Bavitz, I. (2003). Cook It Up [Recorded by Aesop Rock]. On Bazooka Tooth [CD]. New York: Definitive Jux. Cook It Up (Bavitz, 2003) was mindfully chosen to prime my psycho-physical state for exercise. Overall, the combination of the motivating lyrical content (such as cook it up and ready set go) with the steady, percussive and slightly slower BPM (82) was very successful in enlivening my psychological state and preparing my body for my run. Karageoghis et al. (2012) suggest that self-selected music that is connected with vitality, regardless of BPM, may be more successful in priming the listeners psycho-physical response rate due to the correlations between external stimulation and subjective experience. The songs length was also an essential factor in its success as an emotional priming tool because it was the exact amount of time it took me to put on my shoes, stretch my legs and slowly jog over to the beach. Additionally, the musical elements of the song such as its increasingly thick texture, melodic ostinato lines with stepwise motion and male vocal lead, I believed, increased my subjective experience of exercise; musical qualities that are substantiated by the research of Clark et al. (2016). The matrix of these elements successfully manipulated my emotional state because they simultaneously diverted my attention from the anxiety I had about the exercise activity and motivated me to get out of the house. This experience was congruent with the literature that has examined the motivational elements of music (Loizou et al. 2014) during pre-task exercise activities. Example 2: Nicks, S. (1977). Dreams [Recorded by Fleetwood Mac]. On Rumours. Sausalito, California: Warner Bros. Records. Fleetwood Macs Dreams further engenders the state of flourishing that is induced by the previous song, Banana Pancakes. The multi-layered, thick texture of the songs instrumental aspect does not overpower the vocals and the initial quiet quality increases as the song progresses, and I found that this simultaneously increased my energy levels. Despite my tranquil experience of the songs, whilst I was considering the affects that this may have on others, I questioned whether the placement of songs could cause a denial of ruminative thoughts. The slow tempo, the lyrics and the natural sounds: to one individual, these may act as uplifting and motivational factors but to another, they may be appropriated in an unhelpful way (McFerran, 2016; Saarikallio, 2008). Example 3: Miller-Heidke, K. (2009). The Last Day on Earth [Recording by Kate Miller-Heidke]. On Curiouser. [CD]. Pasadena, California: Sony Music With a slower tempo which could be described as andante, and a smooth, flowing melody in a minor key, The Last Day on Earth is a sombre and reminiscent piece of music. In stark contrast to the first few songs which were moderately fast and promoted feelings of joy, the musical elements of this song invoke feelings of calmness and relaxation. Despite this intention, the musical elements of this piece could alternatively prompt feelings of sadness depending on how the listener appropriates the music, as McFerran and Saarikallio (2013) have explored in their research. Much like the previous song, the repetitive and uncomplicated nature of the song, combined with Miller-Heidkes non-intrusive vocals, invites the listener to bring their thoughts to the present and observe them in an accepting and passive manner (Steinfield & Brewer, 2015; Anderson, 2013). In my experience, the music afforded a mindfulness practice that supported me to foster a higher level of self-awareness (Echkardt & Dinsmore, 2012; Grocke, 2009). Example 3: Vic Mensa Down on my Luck (2016) Cottontale, P., Keith-Graham, O., Mensah, V., Osteen, C., & Ponce, S. (2016). Down On My Luck [Recorded by Vic Mensa]. On Pure Grime [MP3] Having been energised by the first two songs, it was time to begin the exercise. I found that I was pacing myself well whilst listening to this song, not focussing as much on the difficulty of the routine. This can be explained by Szmedra and Bacharach (1998), whom indicate that accompaniment of exercise with music reduces the rate of perceived exertion, ultimately reflecting how music can act as a source of diversion from the difficulty of the physical activity. This is further substantiated by Rejeski (1985), who indicates that attending to music (one stimulus) prevents processing stimuli outside the attention span . the routines difficulty. Ultimately, the songs success is due to the distraction it provided from the kick boxing routines difficulty. Example 4: Jason Derulo Bubblegum (2013) Desrouleaux, J., Stevenson, M., Mosely, T., & Washington, J. (2013). Bubblegum (feat. Tyga) [Recorded by Jason Derulo & Tyga]. On Talk Dirty [MP3] The success of this song in the playlist was mostly attributed to volume variation inherent within this song. As the song progressed from the verses to the chorus, the volume increased, and so I was able to build up anticipation and then increase my exercise intensity with this volume increase. This is consistent with the findings of Priest, Karageorghis and Sharp (2004), which demonstrated that the motivational components of music were enunciated when delivered at higher volumes. As a result, the increased volume in the chorus increased the intensity of my exercise. This enhanced the kick boxing routines efficiency, as I was able to pace myself and increased my intensity during the routine in short bouts of high power exercise. Example 5: Fire and the Flood Vance Joy Joy, V. (2014). Fire and the Flood [Recorded by Vance Joy]. On Dream Your Life Away. [CD]. Los Angeles, California: Liberation Music. Still following this theme of relieving anxiety and stress through joyful and movement-inducing music, Fire and the Flood has the added component of being a well-known and catchy song. Being able to share and celebrate positive feelings, emotions, and sense of well-being through popular music better equips us in being able to connect with others (Levitin, 2008). The songs repetitiveness, both in the lyrical and musical sense, with a noticeable lack of change, combined with its relatively relaxed tone, gives it the potential to be a piece of music listeners can use to block stuff out (McFerran & Saarikallio, 2013). This paves the way in preparing the mind for mindfulness as it uses music listening as a dissociative cognitive strategy that can divert attention away from internal experiences and pain (Clark, Baker, & Taylor, 2016). Example 6: We Are The World 25 for Haiti Artists for Haiti Jackson, M., & Ritchie, L. (2012). We are the world 25 for Haiti [Recorded by Artists for Haiti]. On We are the world 25 for Haiti [CD]. Los Angeles, CA: Sony Music. The triumphant brass heralds the beginning of the Flow section. Just like the previous song Imagine, this is a collaboration song between artists, conveying a message of unity and hope following the 2010 Haiti earthquakes. Carey (2006) highlights the increasing use of music in trauma therapy – praised for its ability to inspire listeners and help transcend suffering, music played a significant role in Haitis healing (Hamilton & Kuriansky, 2012). However, while the songs lyrics are successful in encouraging empathy and emphasising sonder, I find it ineffective at inducing flow this is likely due to the laidback tempo and stereotypical pop feel of the song. As opposed to active listening, which is marked by intense and highly focused engagement with the music, this songs confusing mixture of voices and styles induces only passive listening (Elder, 2012). Conclusion (excerpts only): Example 1: opening of the conclusion When trialling the playlist, I noticed that being stationary compared to on the move was more effective for reaping the benefits of the musical experience, when considering active engagement rather than a passive listening approach. Hence, it is recommended that this playlist be employed during the undertakings of the morning, such as commuting or eating. These initial moments of the day are crucial to developing ones sense of self and mindset; these are the moments which have a cascade of rippling effects for how we approach the many events that arise. Corresponding to North & Hargreaves (2008) the motivational stimulation that I obtained from the playlist may not be elicited within another individual, due to the subjectivity of human nature. Hence, it is suggested that when compiling a similar playlist, that individuals consider the music that they have an associative emotional attachment to and subsequently use this to foster their intrinsic guidance. Example 2: opening of the conclusion The playlist I created to increase my motivation for exercise was extremely successful. I believe this to be a result of the synchrony between my physiological and subjective responses to the music and the synchrony between the external elements of my exercise journey. Had I not deeply considered how the music was going to accompany the physical space where I was exercising nor the type of exercise, I dont think the playlist would have been so successful in motivating me to achieve my exercise goals. Music listening whilst exercising is a common activity. Technological advances and the propagation of streaming sites have capitalised on this fact by curating playlists that appeal to an individuals musical tastes and type of exercise. However, the construction of playlists for exercise must be influenced by both the context in which the individual is doing the exercise and variables of emotional responses that are evoked during the music listening experience. Variables such as landscape, air quality, weather, time of day and an individuals psychophysical state can all influence how one responds to the chosen music, and this impacts upon motivation for exercise and exercise intensity and duration (Han et al., 2010; Lee & Lee, 2007; Kaminskas & Ricci, 2011; Sarda et al., 2019). Example 3: reflections and providing recommendations Each song in the playlist was chosen with the specific intent of promoting mental well-being. I did so by carefully examining the music elements and qualities, reflecting upon my associations with the music, and thinking consciously about the ways I appropriate the affordances of music for mood regulation. I began the playlist with the specific intent of bringing the listener into a positive and motivational frame of mind. As each consecutive song is played, the music slows down to reflect more relaxed and introspective, hopefully enabling and encouraging listeners to practice mindfulness. I noticed in using the playlist as I transitioned between home and university on long train journeys, that this transitional period is crucial to the way I manage stress. As an accessible medium for both stimulation and relaxation that many students could use when seeking to manage stress, playlists provide an important resource. I would encourage others to find a similar time during the day, where they are involved in repetitive or arduous tasks such as commuting, cooking, or cleaning, to use this time to actively select, sequence, and listen to the music they personally find could aid them in promoting mindfulness. As I have noted throughout the paper, doing so builds defences against stress and anxiety. Further, taking an active step to consciously develop healthy ways of utilising music for reflecting can provide insight into current adaptive and maladaptive coping mechanisms. Example 4: reflections and providing recommendations The mood, music, and movement theory (MMM) suggests prescribing music to individuals can promote the initiation and maintenance of physical activity (Murrock & Higgins, 2009). While selecting music for my own playlist, I assumed that choosing primarily upbeat, dance music would lead to the most successful workout, as rhythmic features impact physiological arousal (Clark et al, 2015). I figured that if the songs I listen to are fast, then I would run faster. While this is true to a certain extent, when I tested these songs, I realized that I did not enjoy running to fast-paced music throughout my entire workout. This left me unsatisfied with my workouts and lacking the desire to exercise. Once I adjusted my playlist to include songs that would also improve my subjective experience, I was more satisfied with my workouts and more likely to use the playlist again the next day. According to Murrock & Higgins, both psychological responses such as altered mood as well as the physiological response of moving to music are responsible for promoting physical activity and health (2009). This component of the MMM theory explains why I was not reaping benefits from a playlist that only catered to physical arousal. While there are multiple studies describing specific ways to improve health through music, the most important factor for me was that I chose songs that I truly love listening to. This may differ for people who are specifically trying to improve their athletic performance and doing intense training, but, for me, exercise should be pleasurable. I would suggest to those trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle to focus less on which types of music literature says should improve performance and test the songs out themselves. Dear writer, Please note the assignment instructions and examples above. Feel free to choose a playlist and music that is according to your preference. Most importantly, please properly reference the music you chose. You need to reference at least 6 academic literature. I will upload some literature that you can use, but I suggest that you look at other academic literature as well.Show more

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