Um espaço para partilha de ideias relacionadas com as práticas artísticas
e os seus efeitos terapêuticos, com destaque para a vertente musical

quinta-feira, 30 de dezembro de 2010

Music and Productivity: 5 Ideas for Using Music To Boost Performance

Does listening to music increase productivity?

Many retailers and other service-type businesses use environmental music to influence the moods and behaviors of their consumers. Ever notice how some restaurants have bright lights and play music with a fast tempo? It's a completely different feel than your favorite Italian restaurant, with the soft music and dimmed lighting. The theory is that by influence environmental stimuli, one restaurant is trying to increase turnover while the other wants you to hang out and purchase that extra bottle of wine.

But what about personal productivity? Can listening to music help increase your focus, improve your efficiency, and boost your work performance?

Many people use background music when they work. And from what we know about how music impacts brain and behavior function, there are certain things to keep in mind about the music you choose that may make it a more successful experience for you:

1. Use music with no words. As soon as you add words, you activate language centers in your brain, which interferes with any other language "tasks" you may need to work on (reading, writing, talking, etc.). Listen to music that doesn't include least words you can understand.

2. Silence is a kind of music. Music is made up of two things: sounds and silences. Silence can be just as effective as music. It may be that listening to music interferes with your ability to focus. If that's the case, try working in silence. But if music is too much, and silence too little, try listen to nature-type sounds.

3. Listen to music you like. One theory behind why music may help increase productivity is that it helps you feel better. Music taps into the emotional centers in our brain. It can make us feel happy, sad, angry, or scared. Generally, we are more productive when in a positive mood state. So listen to music that puts you in a positive mood state. Classical, New Age, Jazz, Gregorian chants, Reggae, Techno...listen to music you enjoy.

4. Try different speeds, or tempos, of music. There are some people who claim that music at certain tempos influence certain types of brain waves (e.g. alpha, theta, etc.). Generally speaking, faster music helps us feel more energized and heightens our awareness. Slower music helps us feel more calm and relaxed. If you work better in a more energized state, have music playing that's faster and more energetic. However, it you prefer a zen-like relaxed calm when you work, listen to music that's on the slower side.

5. Take musical breaks. Just as you should take a 5-minute break for every hour of work, your ears need a break from music. We entrain, or get used to, the environment we are in. It's why you can sleep comfortably in your own home, but have a harder time falling asleep in a new place, with all the foreign sounds and "bumps in the night" you're not used to. Your brain will focus better if you periodically change the input it receives. From a "background music" perspective, this means occasionally turning the music off or changing the CD.

In short, if listening to music helps you work better and be more productive...then do it!

More info here

quarta-feira, 22 de dezembro de 2010

"Se todos os hospitais e asilos introduzissem nos seus quadros médicos um director musical, e se todos os médicos e músicos treinados compreendessem a natureza e acção da música, não se pode revelar o bem que se realizaria, as vidas que se iluminariam e os emaranhados de cérebros que restaurariam as suas harmonias"

Dr. Egbert Guernsey

segunda-feira, 6 de dezembro de 2010

Altered states of consciousness and musictherapy

How does music effect patients in persistent vegetative state, or people whose self-perception is impaired by pathological processes?
How can a song from an early period in life trigger spiritual questions in a person at the end of his or her life, and give consolation and hope?

(Aldridge, Fachner and Schmid, 2006)

From the stance of musicology, music cognition, performance and psychology there is a growing interest in how music is perceived and processed in altered states of consciousness and possible heuristic benefits as a comparison to the so-called ‘normal’ processes of perception, experience and performance. Currently, we have opportunities of using music-induced states of altered consciousness to promote physical and mental healing, treat substance dependence, and in spiritual and palliative care, and that will be exposed here.

Blood & Zatorre (2001) designed and developed a study to investigate neural correlates of intensely pleasurable responses to music, where it was used positron emission tomography (PET) to study neural mechanisms underlying these emotional responses. The pattern of activity observed in correlation with music-induced chills is similar to that observed in other brain imaging studies of euphoria and/or pleasant emotion, like sex, food or drug use.

Test persons listening to favorite music changes not only in the activity of the autonomous nerve system, as demonstrated by changes in cardiac beat, muscletone, skin resistance and depth of breath, but also in blood flow in brain structures that are involved in processing emotional stimuli. This activation pattern - blood flow - of specific regions in the brain has a primarily euphorising effect, what indicates that the perception of favorite music directly interacts with brain structures associated with emotions, like ventral striatum, midbrain, amygdala, orbitofrontal cortex, and ventral medial prefrontal cortex.

This is quite remarkable, because music is neither strictly necessary for biological survival or reproduction, nor is it a pharmacological substance. Activation of these brain systems in response to a stimulus as abstract as music may represent an emergent property of the complexity of human cognition. Perhaps as formation of anatomical and functional links between phylogenically older, survival-related brain systems and newer, more cognitive systems increased our general capacity to assign meaning to abstract stimuli, our capacity to derive pleasure from these stimuli also increased.

The ability of music to induce such intense pleasure and its putative stimulation of endogenous reward systems suggest that, although music may not be imperative for survival of the human species, it may indeed be of significant benefit to our mental and physical well-being.

This emotion quake may also be a shortcut to induced altered states of consciousness, explaining why music therapy is helpful in cancer or demential patients, persons at the end of their life or in irreversible processes as degenerative diseases.
Ludwig (1966) in "Archives of General Psychiatry" described altered states of consciousness as changes in thinking, time perception, loss of control, changes in emotionaly, body shceme, perception, experience of meaning: a feeling of the unexpressable, of renewal and rebirth and hyper-suggestibility.
This patients are kept away from falling into a deep depression with the emotional wave that musictherapy is able to fulfill. Music provides altered states of consciousness, giving something to look forward to, and brought meaning to this patients days in the hospital, despite reliefing some negative symptoms induced prompt by the diseases, which included nausea, dizziness, fatigue, and itchiness. State specific memories and processes may be triggered by hearing or singing clidwood songs that help to create a present time structured by music through intensive memories of the past, of youth and health.

Concluding, we realize that musictherapy can provide a revival process. T
he term states stresses the temporary character of what is
experienced in illness and in therapy.
as a special form of sharing and creating time processes allows musictherapists to meet
their cl
ients, to help them to alter their altered states of illness and self perception, and to show them a different perspective of their own being.

For those challenged by devastating diseases, music is

  • Aldridge, D., Fachner, J., & Schmid, W. (2006, 31. März). Music, perception and altered states of consciousness [Electronic Version].
    Music Therapy Today, 7, (1) 70-76. Retrieved 1. April from http://
  • Blood, A.J., & Zatorre, R.J. (2001). Intensely pleasurable responses to music correlate with activity in brain regions implicated in reward and emotion. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 98(20), 11818-11823.
  • Fachner, J. (2007) Researching music and altered states in therapy and culture. Music Therapy Today Vol. VIII, (3) December. available at
  • Ludwig, A. M. (1966). Altered states of consciousness. Arch Gen Psychiatry, 15(3), 225 -234.
  • (image)

sábado, 4 de dezembro de 2010

A música está ao alcance de todos

No seguimento do post anterior, encontrei um vídeo que demonstra como Nick Vujicic, um jovem sem membros, é capaz de tocar música recorrendo a algumas adaptações... ;)

E dá-nos uma grande lição de vida acerca de como seguir em frente quando tudo na vida parece falir... vale a pena ver!

sexta-feira, 3 de dezembro de 2010

Dia Internacional da Pessoa com Deficiência

Hoje, 3 de Dezembro, celebra-se o Dia Internacional das Pessoa com Deficiência.
Em honra a todas estas pessoas, e na perspectiva de consciencialização para estas questões, escrevi este post, pretendendo dar a conhecer algumas adaptações que podem colaborar com o fazer musical pedagógico ou terapêutico para pessoas portadoras de deficiência.

A inclusão social deve ser uma das prioridades de qualquer comunidade. A música é uma representação cultural e social, pelo que se compreende a necessidade de que também a sua prática siga uma política inclusiva.
Os profissionais que trabalham com a musicoterapia e atendem pacientes que têm algum tipo de deficiência devem ter em conta que é necessário nunca trabalhar tendo em conta as limitações da pessoa, mas sempre com base nas capacidades de cada um, perspectivando evidenciar a sua eficiência e não a sua deficiência.
De modo a contribuir para a qualidade de vida de portadores de necessidades especiais, torna-se essencial viabilizar o fazer musical a estas pessoas, por recursos a técnicas ou métodos adaptativos sensíveis à diversidade individual de cada um.

O uso de adaptações para a prática musical pode ser classificado em:

DISPOSITIVOS - qualquer tipo de utensílio pré-existente ou especialmente criado, acoplado ou não ao instrumento musical, para o seu devido posicionamento e manipulação, ou facilitação da função física essencial para a sua execução.
(Exemplo: dispositivo criado para segurar a pandeireta)

MOBILIÁRIO - alterações em móveis com o fim de facilitar o estudo musical ou o posicionamento da adaptação para a prática instrumental

ALTERAÇÕES MUSICAIS - alterações na escrita da obra musical face à original, de forma a não alterar o seu conteúdo e sentido primordial

ALTERAÇÕES TÉCNICO-MUSICAIS - alterações na maneira de conduzir a música ou em aspectos técnicos, frente ao convencional, sem alterar o conteúdo essencial da obra, modificando apenas a maneira/forma de tocar.

ADAPTAÇÃO DO INSTRUMENTO MUSICAL - quando há alteração de um instrumento em si ou a criação de instrumentos específicos para portadores de necessidades especiais a partir de instrumentos pré-existentes
(Exemplo: teclado adaptado, com teclas em proporções maiores - 5,5cm cada)

MOVIMENTOS COMPENSATÓRIOS - quando é utilizado algum movimento ou parte do corpo não-convencional para se executar um determinado intrumento musical ou uma determinada música

ADAPTAÇÕES DO PRÓPRIO ORGANISMO - quando através da plasticidade cerebral e sua relação com motivação e exercícios, o organismo se adapta de forma a adquirir uma função física antes inexistente que colabora para a execução instrumental

SOTWARES - programas específicos que permitem o acesso ao computador através de comandos simples, adaptações no teclado ou rato do computador, associados a programas musicais, de forma a permitir a escrita musical ou a programação e gravação de arranjos musicais.

ÓRTESES - quando a pessoa utiliza um aparelho prescrito e fabricado por
profissionais da área da saúde, para promover ou estabilizar e, assim, colaborar na execução musical
(Exempo: órteses desenvolvidas para facilitar o manuseio das baquetas)

Informação e imagens acedidas em: