The Effect of Music on Our Breathing and Heart Rate
Music can also alter our breathing and heart rates, and therefore activate the relaxation response. For this reason, music therapy can help reduce stress and the damaging effects of chronic stress, which also benefits our overall health.
Studies show that music, such as baroque music, with a pulse between fifty and eighty beats per minute, which falls within the range of our ideal resting heart rate, can help to stabilize our mental, physical and emotional rhythms. Music at this rate decreases blood pressure, encourages relaxation and promotes better concentration and focus. A study using baroque background music in a mathematics classroom found that students enjoyed the class more and found math less challenging with the music.1
(1)Source: Maya Ruvinshteyn and Leonard Parrino, “Benefits of Music in the Academic Classroom,” (paper presented at the 16th annual conference of the New Jersey Faculty Development Network, April 2005).
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