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No Drug Test Needed

MONDAY BYTES — July 21, 2014

One of the amazing things about music is that it bypasses our thought process and our language functions, and acts immediately on our nervous system, the way a narcotic does.

Music affects brain chemistry: it produces dopamine, the same pleasure producing agent that cocaine activates (although in different amounts).

Music also lowers cortisol, the stress hormone. Studies have found that people who listen to music before surgery actually need less anesthesia. And music releases serotonin, a neurotransmitter associated with feelings of euphoria and contentment.

There’s more. Studies have shown that singing in groups produces a “singer’s high,” a blast of oxytocin which manages stress and anxiety and produces feelings of bonding and trust.

And researchers have found that regularly engaging in group music activities conspicuously advances children’s empathy development, increasing a child’s capacity to recognize and consider the feelings of others.

Why humans have evolved to respond this way to music? Consider the biological imperative: in order to survive, humans need to be able to work and live together in communities.

Making music together is a fast track to empathy. And empathy is the basic building block of community.

So don’t EVER let anyone tell you that music—and the work that you do—isn’t important!

This week: Please write back with any stories about music and its drug-like effects (no questions asked!)

As always, I welcome hearing your thoughts and feedback!

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!

Citizen Musician!

MONDAT BYTES — July 14, 2014

What kind of Citizen Musician are you?

Check out Yo-Yo Ma’s inspiring Chicago Symphony Orchestra Citizen Musician program (from the CSO website):

“About the Citizen Musician Initiative

Yo-Yo Ma has described his concept of citizen musicianship in terms of three values:

  1. “As a musician, you are always working toward something larger than yourself.”
  2. Musicians balance in mind both the biggest conceivable picture of the world and the most minute sensitivity to their present position in it.
  3. Musicians strive to communicate. Whether as performers, composers or teachers, their work can’t be done alone, and isn’t done until their music lives in someone else.”

Watch this short video intro (3:53) of the program that includes Yo-Yo explaining his conception of these values. He speaks about Mendelssohn, balancing objectivity and empathy, and defining success!

Questions for the week: How do you define Citizen Musicianship for yourself? What are your 3 core values that describe your role in community?

As always, I welcome hearing your thoughts and feedback!

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!

50 Ways to Find a Job?

MONDAY BYTES — July 7, 2014

Here’s a terrific resource: a site called 50 Ways to Get a Job.

Even if you’re not looking now, the site has excellent tips for improving your quality of work life.

The simplicity and layout of the site invites you to dive in and check out each square, more like a game show than something you slog through.

I especially love these: ”Rethink an Industry” (Green); ”Map Your Current Career Path” (Orange); “Sit Quietly in a Room for 45 Minutes” (Purple); also ”List 20 People Who Are Rethinking Your Industry” and “Practice 4 Different Ways of Introducing Yourself” (Navy).

Invest in Yourself this Week: Browse the squares, find one you like, and DO it!

As always, I welcome hearing your thoughts and feedback!

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

Dream big, Plan smart, Live well!