Session 5

Music is Physical, Social and Synchronous

How is Music is Physical, Social and Synchronous?

Music is inherently a very physical stimulus. It is hard to separate the experiences of music and dance; when we hear certain types of music we get a strong urge to move our body. Pairing music and movement encourages exercise which benefits cognition, mood and behaviour.

Music has a dual purpose; it acts as a catalyst for bringing people together and also enhances group experiences. The social nature of music may be beneficial in boosting the healing process via cohesion, collective enjoyment and a sense of support for one another.

We have an instinctive ability to synchronise our body’s movements, and speech, to music. Simply moving in time with one another to music has many positive therapeutic benefits, for example, in synchronous drumming there is a release of endorphins and neurochemicals which elicits social bonding, empathy and trust.

Try to choose music in this block that is physical (e.g. has a strong beat or rhythm), as this will maximise their motivation to be active (e.g. Glen Miller ‘In the Mood’).

Encourage the participants to play their instruments in synchrony with each other and to engage socially whilst doing so (as you will see in the partner activities below). This type of social engagement will promote the most benefits.

Activity 1

Warm up upper body (arms up and down, side to side) with simple movement done in time to a song.
Warm up lower body (e.g. heel to toe, toe tap, marching on spot) with simple movement done in time to a song.

Activity 2

Match music to dance styles using powerpoint.

Activity 3

Select rhythmic songs and play instruments along with them. Encourage participant interaction by tapping stick with neighbour, tapping neighbours drum, switch shaker between hands.