Music as medicine: how a good tune can give you a good tune-up

Listening to music you connect with is a powerful tool.

Have you heard this famous quote about the power of listening to music?

It’s from the late Oliver Sacks, who was a prominent British neurologist and author.

Music can lift us out of depression or move us to tears. It is a remedy, a tonic, orange juice for the ear.

But for many of my neurological patients, music is even more — it can provide access, even when no medication can, to movement, to speech, to life. For them, music is not a luxury, but a necessity.

 Oliver Sacks (1933-2015)

Have you ever noticed how often music brings out a memory or an emotion?

And it can certainly play a part in lifting your mood when you’re in a ‘foulie’ as Men’s Shedder Rip Woodchip described it on The Shed Wireless | Episode 10.

‘I can be listening to Buddy Holly in the morning and jigging around in the kitchen…and belting out Acca Dacka by the end of the day while I’m chopping wood.

‘Yep there’s just about a song for every occasion and a memory or mood to go with it,’ said Rip.

Thousands of songs, thousands of memories —  Rip Woodchip on The Shed Wireless

Stuck at home during the recent COVID-19 crisis, Executive Officer of the Australian Men’s Shed Association David Helmers found himself sitting down at the piano.

It was the first time he’d played in 20 years.

For David, it was a great reminder of how music can change your perspective and lift your spirits.

‘I’m a huge music fan. I still have a big collection of vinyl and the old needle player,’ said David.

He still has the first record record he ever owned.

‘It was a Beatles Album that I got when I was about 5 years old.

‘But I’ve moved up to modern technology, I’ve put my whole CD collection onto hard drive so I’ve got the playlist on my phone and in the car.

‘I’ve got a really varied music taste, from classical to rock and anything in between.’

Do you still listen to music on vinyl, CD or cassette — or have you put your music onto a digital format so you can listen in the car or the Shed?

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