The Power of Music - Mill Hill Schools

Head’s blog

The Power of Music

Science all but confirms that humans are hard-wired to respond to music.

“I think music in itself is healing,” American musician Billy Joel once said. “It’s an explosive expression of humanity. It’s something we are all touched by. No matter what culture we’re from, everyone loves music.”

We can all think of one song that when we hear it triggers an emotional response.  It might be a song that accompanied the first dance at your wedding, for example, or a song that was played a lot during your first pregnancy or the loss of a loved one.

Given the deep connection we have with music, it is perhaps unsurprising that numerous studies have shown it can benefit our mental health. A 2011 study by researchers from McGill University in Canada found that listening to music increases the amount of dopamine produced in the brain – a mood-enhancing chemical, making it a feasible treatment for depression (Whiteman 2015).

This was echoed this week as I chose to play some classical music at the door.  There was a really positive response to familiar classics such as Nessum Dorma and The Flower Duet by Delibes (made popular by the British Airways advert in 1989).  The children also broke into a waltz as they entered and the music filled their shoes.  The atmosphere was calm and serene.  In contrast today we played some disco and the upbeat tunes such as ‘September’ by Earth Wind and Fire gave everyone a spring in their step ahead of the last day of the week.  One Grandparent commented that Saturday night had come early, associating a bit of disco with a good night out!

The workshop this week with Anna and Meg from Musical Dots really underpinned this and their philosophy of surrounding children in music is mirrored in Mrs Wakefield’s music classes.  More information can be found in Mrs Wakefield’s newsletter article but the best people to ask are…your children.  Also ask them what song reminds them of you?  I asked my boys and they said, ‘That Spice Girl one you make us dance too’. Says a lot!

Have a great weekend and why not throw a few moves to your favourite tune!