Around 2,500 years ago, Plato summed up the power of music up perfectly when he said
“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.”
The power of music to connect was seen is spades as laughter, tears and plenty of toe-tapping was shared by students and their Elder buddies during yesterday’s session of STEP (Senior and Teens Empathy Program).
A Spotify playlist of songs from yesteryear and today provided the perfect conversation starter and brought the generations closer as they teamed up in two groups for a ‘fierce’ competition to guess songs.
In a 2013 review of the research on music, Stefan Koelsch, music psychologist at the Freie University Berlin, described several mechanisms through which music impacts our ability to connect with one another—by impacting brain circuits involved in empathy, trust, and cooperation—perhaps explaining how it has survived in every culture of the world. ( Jill Suttie, Four ways Music Strengthens Social Bonds)
Music gives us an oxytocin boost … Oxytocin is a neuropeptide affiliated with breast-feeding and sexual contact, and is known to play an important role in increasing bonding and trust between people. Now researchers are discovering that music may affect oxytocin levels in the body.
Music is included as part of the design of STEP sessions as deliberate means of empathy building. The power of the love of music helping highlight another example of an equaliser between generations.
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