We can understand that the use of music in the workplace doesn’t always fit with people’s conventional ideas of how a workplace should be. It certainly seems at odds with some who are of the old fashioned, traditional workplace mind set.
But stress and discontent are very real problems that most bosses have to deal with within their companies and those with a forward thinking, modern approach to these age old issues are reaping the rewards of the corporate workplace music benefits as part of the solution.
If you’re not convinced of the workplace music benefits for your company, here are some real scientific facts that show why it might be worth considering.
- Playing music reduces stress and has been shown to reverse the body’s response to stress at the DNA-level (Dr. Barry Bittman).
- Playing music “significantly” lowered the heart rates and calmed and regulated the blood pressures and respiration rates of patients who had undergone surgery (Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., and St. Mary’s Hospital in Mequon, Wis.)
- Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).
- Anger Management Music therapy can help people identify the emotions that underlie anger and increase the patient’s awareness of these feelings and situations that can trigger them. If a situation or emotion is presented in a song the healthy options for expressing that feeling can be discussed and conflict resolution and problem solving can be practiced in a positive manner.
- Drumming is also used by music therapists to help patients appropriately vent anger and other emotions. Another use of drumming can be a non-verbal conversation on drums where the ability to listen to the other person’s drumming is needed to “converse” on the drums.
- Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level, according to studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems (as published in Medical Science Monitor).
- Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing 112 long-term care workers to six recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (As published in “Advances in Mind-Body Medicine”) Engaging in playing music reduces depression. Recent research with long-term care workers showed reduced depression (21.8 percent) six weeks after the completion of a music-making program consisting of one hour per week (Source: A 2003 study conducted by Trip Umbach Healthcare Consulting, Inc.).
- Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH) production among active older Americans. The findings revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group of people who did not make music (University of Miami).
- Recreational Music Making (RMM) has been scientifically proven to help the workplace by:
- Reducing employee stress
- Reducing employee depression
- Reducing employee burnout
- Improving employee retention
- Employee stress is expensive for companies and widespread. Research shows that the economic impact in the U.S.A. is estimated at $300 billion each year (Source: New York Times). Experts claim that 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits involve stress-related complaints.
- Engaging in RMM reduces stress. RMM has been shown to reverse the body’s response to stress at the DNA level (Source: Dr. Barry Bittman).
- Depression is widespread in the workforce and is expensive for companies. The economic impact of depression in the workplace is estimated at $34 billion annually—$11 billion for treatment, $11 billion in decreased productivity, and $12 billion in absenteeism. Depression affects about 19 million people, 70 percent of whom are in the workforce. (Figures are according to Braun Consulting News.
- Engaging in RMM reduces depression. Recent research with long-term care workers showed reduced depression (21.8 percent) six weeks after the completion of an RMM program consisting of one hour per week. (Source: A 2003 study conducted by Trip Umbach Healthcare Consulting, Inc.)
- RMM can help companies reduce turnover, saving them millions. The research with long-term care workers showed an 18.3 percent overall reduction of employee turnover by implementing an RMM program. The total annual savings was projected at $1.46 billion.
- Every worker can participate in RMM. There are no physical limitations or requirements.
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