Music As A Motivator Essay Research Paper

Music As A Motivator Essay, Research Paper Whether it is Haydn s string quartet no. 66 in G major or a single off the new Dave Mathews album, music, inherently, has the ability to alter the state of our mind and body. Music

Music As A Motivator Essay, Research Paper

Whether it is Haydn s string quartet no. 66 in G major or a single off the new Dave

Mathews album, music, inherently, has the ability to alter the state of our mind and body. Music

can make us joyful or sad, it can make us want to move our body, it can stimulate our imagination,

or even heal us. The aforementioned has the ability to change one s state of mind at any given

time. This essay will examine music s many disciplines and how they motivate our creativity,

imagination, health, and culture. Whether listening to your favorite piece of music or going to a

music therapy clinic, music motivates us profoundly.

In the past decade, the practice of music therapy has, generally, gained a wider acceptance.

It has been used to treat stroke victims dealing with depression, used on children with autism, and

with people who have suffered spinal injuries to help them walk again. It is not necessarily a cure

for there ailments, it rather motivates their mind allowing other methods to be more successful.

Music therapy has, also, been successful in treating children with learning disabilities. Obviously,

this is not used to cure these children of their problems rather it is to stimulate their minds thus

enriching their lives, “Singing can be an experience of arousal for the handicapped child, of

freedom from the many of confusions and restrictions of pathology. He becomes able to use

personal capacities with greater consciousness and can experience, as a result, direct, substantial

fulfillment.” In a research project done at a special education school in Philadelphia the out come

of music therapy was enlightening. The researchers examined three children at the school, Eddie,

Denise, and Dianne. All three children were observed as being self conscious, shy, and socially

dysfunctional. The researchers gave each child a way of expressing themselves musically and

followed their progress. After giving Eddie a role in a song the results were evident, “Eddie s

establishment of himself in the role against the background of his usual fear-ridden, unsure

behavior and his independent display of initiative and courage were totally unexpected and could

not have been predicted.” Dianne was given a resonator bell for a part in the “Twenty- Third

Psalm, “and after a week of practice she performed it with other girls in the class, “It gave

everyone pleasure and was warmly applauded. Dianne s new self-image and self-confidence

stimulated both academic and social improvement.” The last test subject did equally well. Denise a

troubled child who would purposely frighten other children, was given a part similar to Dianne s

and performed it remarkably well, “After the performance Denise was no longer personally

inhibited. She became talkative, expressed her pleasure in the musical activities, and was a loyal,

perceptive colleague in all the demonstration work with teachers we did the following year.”

The use of music therapy on these children fully illustrates music s ability to motivate

one s mind. In this situation the motivation was twofold. The children were motivated to become

more self-confident and socially functional and with these new found qualities were motivated to

learn more about themselves and what they were capable of. The music acts like a language to the

children, ” It can encourage , hearten, delight, and speak to the inmost part of the child. Music can

ask stimulating questions and give satisfying answers. It can activate and then support the activity

it has evoked it can lift the handicapped child out of his confines and place him on a plane of

experience and response where he is considerable free of intillectual or emotional disfunction.”

Music s ability to heal the body has been under discussion for centuries. Jean-Jacques

Rousseau, in his works Dictionnaire de Musique and Essai sur L origine des Langues wrote,

“Although music has little power the affections of the soul, it is neverless capable of acting

physically upon bodies.” Rousseau uses evidence of the healing of Tarantula bites through the

use of music which differed in each country but had the same effects, ” the Italian must have

Italian tunes , the Turk would need Turkish tunes one s nerves will respond only to the degree to

which one s mind prepares them for it: he must understand the language spoken to him before what

he is being told sets him in motion.” Rousseau later states that we will never understand the true

principles of music if we only consider , ” sounds only through the commotion they stir in our

nerves.” If this is correct, music s motivation over the body is immense. Music would have the

ability to make one s mind stronger than one s body.

It would be a fair statement to say that music definitely motivates certian aspects of ones

mind. Assuming this statement is correct, the problem that arises is that no music can be clearly

defined. Music is definitely a language that says something different to everybody thus it can not

be translated. If you play one type of music for a group of people each one will walk away with a

different experience. Taking this into account is important when studying musics motivation on

people.

Music s motivation can be clearly seen when discussing it s role in aiding one s emotion.

Music has the unique ability of bringing joy and pain. It can evoke the fondest memory and, also,

highten one s deepest pain. It can creep into your mind and can take you to a different time and

place, “the highest and best music seems to have a message beyond itself perhaps, and certainly

beyond words.” It can not be translated yet it s message is profound. It motivates us to believe

there is a connection between composer and listener due to the emotion it evokes. Subsequently, it

motivates us to believe that we all share the same experiences when the same song could be

interpreted many different ways. Music takes an emotion already present and electrifies it. We

often chose what music we want to hear based on the emotion we want to provoke. We chose

classical for a calming effect when we want to relax. In choosing rock or jazz we want to induce

an upbeat emotion. The relationship between music and emotion is symbiotic, each one feeds of

the other. Our emotion dictates what music we listen to and music dictates our emotion.

The body is ,also, motivated by music. Obviously, the urge of movement when listening to

certain disciplines of music is well noted but music, also, “has a marked effect on pulse, respiration

and external blood pressure music delays the onset of muscular fatigue and has a marked

effect upon the pschogalvanic reflex.” These qualities are similar to the responses of a change in

emotion. Dancing proves this point. Where as classical music dictates a slow and methodical

dance, varying degrees of rock music spur on a fast and uninhibited style of dancing. People, also,

chose to listen to loud upbeat music when performing physical activities such as working out.

At athletic events stadiums usually pump in rock music to pump up the crowd rather than choosing

classical or jazz.

Music s effect and motivation on societies can be highlighted when viewing the evolution

of the late twentieth century. Beginning in the mid 1960 s music began to express feeling of

unrest and disapproval with current affairs in North America. Musicians such as Janis Joplin and

John Lenon expressed there displeasure with the United States involvement in Vietnam. Social

commentary expressed through mainstream music was spreading and dispersing information to the

masses. The effect was astounding. Disenfranchised youths came together and formed

organizations to express their opposition to the crisis in Vietnam. Without these musicians and

their social commentary, certainly, the truths about this conflict would not have reached these

people and ,thus, they would not of been motivated to express their views and aid in ending the

Vietnam war.

Music s motivation in reference to our culture is endless. Each culture possesses certain

unique musical styles that are used to motivate. Religious or spiritual music would be a good

example of this point. In the Jewish religion songs such as the Hava-Na-Gilla Nigila motivate

people to dance and celebrate. In Arab culture music is used to put people in trance like states

which they believe places them closer to god. In the Arab religion of Sufism a unique ceremony

highlights this point, ” The concert took place under the direction of a master who led the ceremony

and at the same time was the spiritual director The solo singing was provided by a cantor , the

quawwal the concert consisted of several successive phases, some vocal, some instrumental

The faithful listened to the music seated, in a state of inner contemplation, and allowed themselves

to be gradually overcome by trance When the trance became to intense, they rose and began to

dance. Return to calm and normality was brought about by the sound of music suitable for that

purpose.” This ritual not only displays music s motivation over culture, it also proves music s

ability to motivate one s mind and body.

After viewing the remarkable abilities of musical therapy in dealing with children with

special needs one can conclude that, although, it may not cure the patients it enriches their lives and

motivates certain qualities that did not exist before. It allows the children to break the constraints

of their disabilities and motivates them to grow socially and academically. Music s ability to

motivate our mind can be seen in it s manipulation of our emotions and its ability to make to make

of mind stronger than our body. Physiological differences that occur in our body when being

affected by music prove its power over our body. The motivational tools that music possesses are

far ranging and should be explored for years to come, so we can harness its energy and create

better lives for the people who create it and the people who listen to it.

Aiello, Rita. Musical Perceptions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

Beadle, Jeremy. Will Pop Eat Itself. London: Faber and Faber Co., 1994

Chanan, Michael. Musica Practica. London: Verso Co., 194

Cooke, Deryck. The Language of Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1959

Lee, Vernon. Music and its Lovers. London: George Allen Ltd, 1932

Robbins, Clive. Music Therapy in Special Education. New York: John Day Co., 1972

Rouget, Gilbert. Music and Trance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985

Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education ( New York: John Day Co., 1971)

22

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 238

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 229

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 232

Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music,(Great Britian: Oxford University Press, 1964) 56

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) 167

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 169

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 171

Vernon Lee, Music and its Lovers (Great Britian: George Allen Ltd, 1932) 261

Rita Aiello, Musical Perspectives(New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) 13

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 265-266

8

Whether it is Haydn s string quartet no. 66 in G major or a single off the new Dave

Mathews album, music, inherently, has the ability to alter the state of our mind and body. Music

can make us joyful or sad, it can make us want to move our body, it can stimulate our imagination,

or even heal us. The aforementioned has the ability to change one s state of mind at any given

time. This essay will examine music s many disciplines and how they motivate our creativity,

imagination, health, and culture. Whether listening to your favorite piece of music or going to a

music therapy clinic, music motivates us profoundly.

In the past decade, the practice of music therapy has, generally, gained a wider acceptance.

It has been used to treat stroke victims dealing with depression, used on children with autism, and

with people who have suffered spinal injuries to help them walk again. It is not necessarily a cure

for there ailments, it rather motivates their mind allowing other methods to be more successful.

Music therapy has, also, been successful in treating children with learning disabilities. Obviously,

this is not used to cure these children of their problems rather it is to stimulate their minds thus

enriching their lives, “Singing can be an experience of arousal for the handicapped child, of

freedom from the many of confusions and restrictions of pathology. He becomes able to use

personal capacities with greater consciousness and can experience, as a result, direct, substantial

fulfillment.” In a research project done at a special education school in Philadelphia the out come

of music therapy was enlightening. The researchers examined three children at the school, Eddie,

Denise, and Dianne. All three children were observed as being self conscious, shy, and socially

dysfunctional. The researchers gave each child a way of expressing themselves musically and

followed their progress. After giving Eddie a role in a song the results were evident, “Eddie s

establishment of himself in the role against the background of his usual fear-ridden, unsure

behavior and his independent display of initiative and courage were totally unexpected and could

not have been predicted.” Dianne was given a resonator bell for a part in the “Twenty- Third

Psalm, “and after a week of practice she performed it with other girls in the class, “It gave

everyone pleasure and was warmly applauded. Dianne s new self-image and self-confidence

stimulated both academic and social improvement.” The last test subject did equally well. Denise a

troubled child who would purposely frighten other children, was given a part similar to Dianne s

and performed it remarkably well, “After the performance Denise was no longer personally

inhibited. She became talkative, expressed her pleasure in the musical activities, and was a loyal,

perceptive colleague in all the demonstration work with teachers we did the following year.”

The use of music therapy on these children fully illustrates music s ability to motivate

one s mind. In this situation the motivation was twofold. The children were motivated to become

more self-confident and socially functional and with these new found qualities were motivated to

learn more about themselves and what they were capable of. The music acts like a language to the

children, ” It can encourage , hearten, delight, and speak to the inmost part of the child. Music can

ask stimulating questions and give satisfying answers. It can activate and then support the activity

it has evoked it can lift the handicapped child out of his confines and place him on a plane of

experience and response where he is considerable free of intillectual or emotional disfunction.”

Music s ability to heal the body has been under discussion for centuries. Jean-Jacques

Rousseau, in his works Dictionnaire de Musique and Essai sur L origine des Langues wrote,

“Although music has little power the affections of the soul, it is neverless capable of acting

physically upon bodies.” Rousseau uses evidence of the healing of Tarantula bites through the

use of music which differed in each country but had the same effects, ” the Italian must have

Italian tunes , the Turk would need Turkish tunes one s nerves will respond only to the degree to

which one s mind prepares them for it: he must understand the language spoken to him before what

he is being told sets him in motion.” Rousseau later states that we will never understand the true

principles of music if we only consider , ” sounds only through the commotion they stir in our

nerves.” If this is correct, music s motivation over the body is immense. Music would have the

ability to make one s mind stronger than one s body.

It would be a fair statement to say that music definitely motivates certian aspects of ones

mind. Assuming this statement is correct, the problem that arises is that no music can be clearly

defined. Music is definitely a language that says something different to everybody thus it can not

be translated. If you play one type of music for a group of people each one will walk away with a

different experience. Taking this into account is important when studying musics motivation on

people.

Music s motivation can be clearly seen when discussing it s role in aiding one s emotion.

Music has the unique ability of bringing joy and pain. It can evoke the fondest memory and, also,

highten one s deepest pain. It can creep into your mind and can take you to a different time and

place, “the highest and best music seems to have a message beyond itself perhaps, and certainly

beyond words.” It can not be translated yet it s message is profound. It motivates us to believe

there is a connection between composer and listener due to the emotion it evokes. Subsequently, it

motivates us to believe that we all share the same experiences when the same song could be

interpreted many different ways. Music takes an emotion already present and electrifies it. We

often chose what music we want to hear based on the emotion we want to provoke. We chose

classical for a calming effect when we want to relax. In choosing rock or jazz we want to induce

an upbeat emotion. The relationship between music and emotion is symbiotic, each one feeds of

the other. Our emotion dictates what music we listen to and music dictates our emotion.

The body is ,also, motivated by music. Obviously, the urge of movement when listening to

certain disciplines of music is well noted but music, also, “has a marked effect on pulse, respiration

and external blood pressure music delays the onset of muscular fatigue and has a marked

effect upon the pschogalvanic reflex.” These qualities are similar to the responses of a change in

emotion. Dancing proves this point. Where as classical music dictates a slow and methodical

dance, varying degrees of rock music spur on a fast and uninhibited style of dancing. People, also,

chose to listen to loud upbeat music when performing physical activities such as working out.

At athletic events stadiums usually pump in rock music to pump up the crowd rather than choosing

classical or jazz.

Music s effect and motivation on societies can be highlighted when viewing the evolution

of the late twentieth century. Beginning in the mid 1960 s music began to express feeling of

unrest and disapproval with current affairs in North America. Musicians such as Janis Joplin and

John Lenon expressed there displeasure with the United States involvement in Vietnam. Social

commentary expressed through mainstream music was spreading and dispersing information to the

masses. The effect was astounding. Disenfranchised youths came together and formed

organizations to express their opposition to the crisis in Vietnam. Without these musicians and

their social commentary, certainly, the truths about this conflict would not have reached these

people and ,thus, they would not of been motivated to express their views and aid in ending the

Vietnam war.

Music s motivation in reference to our culture is endless. Each culture possesses certain

unique musical styles that are used to motivate. Religious or spiritual music would be a good

example of this point. In the Jewish religion songs such as the Hava-Na-Gilla Nigila motivate

people to dance and celebrate. In Arab culture music is used to put people in trance like states

which they believe places them closer to god. In the Arab religion of Sufism a unique ceremony

highlights this point, ” The concert took place under the direction of a master who led the ceremony

and at the same time was the spiritual director The solo singing was provided by a cantor , the

quawwal the concert consisted of several successive phases, some vocal, some instrumental

The faithful listened to the music seated, in a state of inner contemplation, and allowed themselves

to be gradually overcome by trance When the trance became to intense, they rose and began to

dance. Return to calm and normality was brought about by the sound of music suitable for that

purpose.” This ritual not only displays music s motivation over culture, it also proves music s

ability to motivate one s mind and body.

After viewing the remarkable abilities of musical therapy in dealing with children with

special needs one can conclude that, although, it may not cure the patients it enriches their lives and

motivates certain qualities that did not exist before. It allows the children to break the constraints

of their disabilities and motivates them to grow socially and academically. Music s ability to

motivate our mind can be seen in it s manipulation of our emotions and its ability to make to make

of mind stronger than our body. Physiological differences that occur in our body when being

affected by music prove its power over our body. The motivational tools that music possesses are

far ranging and should be explored for years to come, so we can harness its energy and create

better lives for the people who create it and the people who listen to it.

Aiello, Rita. Musical Perceptions. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994

Beadle, Jeremy. Will Pop Eat Itself. London: Faber and Faber Co., 1994

Chanan, Michael. Musica Practica. London: Verso Co., 194

Cooke, Deryck. The Language of Music. London: Oxford University Press, 1959

Lee, Vernon. Music and its Lovers. London: George Allen Ltd, 1932

Robbins, Clive. Music Therapy in Special Education. New York: John Day Co., 1972

Rouget, Gilbert. Music and Trance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985

Paul Nordoff and Clive Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education ( New York: John Day Co., 1971)

22

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 238

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 229

Nordoff and Robbins, Music Therapy in Special Education, 232

Deryck Cooke, The Language of Music,(Great Britian: Oxford University Press, 1964) 56

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1985) 167

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 169

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 171

Vernon Lee, Music and its Lovers (Great Britian: George Allen Ltd, 1932) 261

Rita Aiello, Musical Perspectives(New York: Oxford University Press, 1994) 13

Gilbert Rouget, Music and Trance, 265-266

8

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