Academic journal article Psychomusicology

Listening to Classical Music Results in a Positive Correlation between Spatial Reasoning and Mindfulness

Academic journal article Psychomusicology

Listening to Classical Music Results in a Positive Correlation between Spatial Reasoning and Mindfulness

Article excerpt

Music, an orderly arrangement of sound consisting of melody, harmony, rhythm, tone, and pitch, has been used to impact mental processes and influence physical conditions for centuries (Gick, 2011; Sinex, Guzik, Li, & Henderson Sabes, 2003). Responses to musical stimuli vary and are subject to previous experiences and sociocultural influences (Peretz, 2006). Thus, music has a very personal meaning and may elicit an individual reaction from each listener. Music also may have either a calming or stimulating effect depending on the tempo (fast or slow) or genre (classical music and other types; Koelsch & Siebel, 2005; Patel, 2003). I the present study, classical music is defined as music written in the European tradition during a period lasting approximately from 1750 to 1830, when forms such as the symphony, concerto, and sonata were standardized. This music genre is often contrasted with baroque (c. 1600-1750) and romantic (c. 1804-1910) music eras and includes composers such as Antonio Vivaldi, Johann Sebastian Bach, George Frideric Handel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Ludwig van Beethoven. Classical music along with other music types has been used as adjunct therapeutic interventions in a variety of practical settings. Some professionals define music therapy as the controlled use of music, its elements, and its effects on human beings to produce changes in physiology, behavior, thoughts, and emotions or to support the physiological, psychological, and emotional integration of the individual during treatment of an illness or disability (Guzzetta, 1989; Maranto, 1991; Munro & Mount, 1978; Wigram, Pedersen, & Ole Bonde, 2002). Music therapists, working in community mental health centers, medical hospitals, psychiatric institutions, schools, nursing homes, and correctional facilities as well as other settings (Silverman, 2015; Thaut, 2000), are trained to assess cognitive skills, physical health, emotional well-being, social functioning, and communication abilities through responses to musical stimuli. These skilled professionals also are trained to design music interventions for individuals and groups based on client (children, adolescents, adults, and elders) needs as well as follow up progress (Thaut, 2005; Wheeler, 2015).

Spatial reasoning involves mentally maintaining and transforming mental images in the absence of a physical representation of the actual figure, object, pattern, or structure. The ability to engage in spatial reasoning by mentally manipulating objects or physically navigating through space has wide implications in many academic and professional disciplines as well social and recreational activities. The spatial ability to mentally rotate objects is required for performing tasks (such as playing chess, computing mathematical equations, and solving engineering problems) that recruit executive (higher-order) brain functions (Goodwin & Johnson-Laird, 2005; Johnson, 2008). Spatial reasoning accounts for an essential part of the thinking process of mathematicians, computer scientists, engineers, architects, designers, artists, sculptors, and inventors because they need to understand and interpret qualitative information in graphs and models in order to gain critical understanding of the problems at hand.

The psychological construct mindfulness has received a great deal of attention over the past several decades. The concept of mindfulness has roots in Buddhist and other contemplative traditions where conscious attention and nonjudgmental awareness are actively cultivated (Brown & Ryan, 2003; Siegel, 2007a, 2007b). It is most commonly defined as the state of being attentive to and aware of what is taking place in the present moment without viewing the situation as good or bad (Kabat-Zinn, 1990, 2003, 2004). Because the original purpose of mindfulness was to alleviate suffering and foster compassion, this meditation technique has been used successfully in medical and clinical practice (Kabat- Zinn, 2005; Santorelli, 1999). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.