On a High Note: The healing power of music

Do you experience high levels of stress as a family caregiver? Do you find yourself playing your favourite calming music when you feel stressed out? Those tunes you reach for may be helping you more than you think.

The power of music is well-established—it has a unique link to our emotions and can promote physical and psychological well-being. Listening to music or singing can release tension and relieve stress. Research also suggests that listening to music can improve sleep quality and reduce depressive symptoms.

The benefits of music are amplified when it is active and involves performing with others (e.g. choirs). The impact of music on positive health and disease outcomes has been linked to oxytocin—a hormone associated with trust and positive social emotions.

This presentation will examine the science underlying the impact of music on health outcomes and discuss findings from several studies on the impact of music on caregivers.

Findings from the inter-generational Voices in Motion Choir will be presented. Our guest speaker, Dr. Debra Sheets, has conducted research in her own community choir about the quality of life of people before and after joining the choir. The results are astounding: levels of depression were significantly reduced, overall health and life satisfaction were greatly increased.

A question period will follow the presentation.