How Music Can Influence Your Space

While taking my daily walk in nature this morning,  the weather changed and what started as a slight mist turned into a gentle rain.  Without realizing it I began singing an old song  in my head by B.J. Thomas, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”.

Once I realized what I was doing not only did I chuckle but, I realized how good I felt even while walking in the rain with no umbrella handy.  This upbeat song was making me feel good!

Music has the power to do this.

The power of music

Music has the power to influence our attitudes and behaviors.  It can make you happy, it can make you sad.  It can give you inspiration and it can keep you stuck.  It can fill you with all kinds of warm fuzzies and it can fill you with anger.  It can affect you and even make shifts in you that you are unaware of.  It’s no coincidence that medical offices, elevators and other places that have the opportunity to heighten stress levels in us use soothing background music.  My own dentist offers you earphones to listen to soothing music while sitting in the dental chair.  Retailers market music for our babies with offerings of CD’s of soothing sounds and lullabies.  All you need do is spend an hour in a baby store and you will see what manufacturers believe every child should hear!

Colors of nature

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

As far back as 1974 in a high school psychology experiment I hypothesized that music had incredible psychological power. I had a great teacher, Mrs. Jackie Wilkerson and she really made  class fun.  During the year she assigned us class projects and I decided to do mine on the influence music has on our eating habits.  My study was based on the hypothesis that if you increase the beat and rhythm of a song, the rate of chewing also increases.  I did my experiment on kids in the school cafeteria.  Now I am the first to admit that the study had to be full of incredible extraneous variables that I didn’t have the wherewithal to include or allow for in my experiment.  Nonetheless, for a high school psychology experiment, the results were conclusive to my hypothesis.  Kids did chew faster during fast tempos and slower during slower tempos.  I call that food for thought!

(By the way, I actually called my old high school teacher the other day to let her know I would be writing this article.  Mind you, I haven’t talked to her since 1974 and wasn’t even sure if she would remember me.  Wow!  Mrs. Wilkerson is now Dr. Wilkerson, a licensed therapist.  What an inspiration to know that her work as a high school psychology teacher led her to go for the gusto and live her passion in such a way!)

In researching data for this post I came upon some interesting findings.  Because I don’t care to have my posts full of statistical data and more about what I have learned  for myself first hand, I choose not to site various and sundry articles that I have gleaned data from. However, feel free to contact me if you want to know where I get some of my information. I will be happy to pass it on to you. With that said, these are some of the interesting tidbits of research findings about music I have read that give pause for consideration:

  • Music can slow down or speed up the heart rate.
  • Music can reduce muscle tension, improve body movement and coordination.
  • Music can regulate stress-related hormones.
  • Music can change our perception of time and space.
  • Music can strengthen our memory.
  • Music can enhance romance and sexuality.
  • Music can aid in digestion.
  • Music can generate a feeling of safety and well-being.
  • Music can enhance an unconscious receptivity to symbolism.

Music speaks what the soul feels (or should)

I absolutely, positively believe in the power of music.  It has certainly affected me through the years and when I look back on specific times in my life I realize that the music I listened to often mirrored what my heart and soul were feeling at the time.  (Or vice versa.)  I suspect it is the same for most people.

Leaves falling in water

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

For example, during the months and months of enduring an extremely painful separation and subsequent divorce I started listening to country music for the first time.  I can remember times when the kids would be at school and I would turn up the volume full blast on soulful ballads and sing my heart and lungs out while I walked through the empty house feeling safe to express my grief.  I never listened to perky music.  Instead I listened to music that was full of angst, sorrow and despair.  I would cocoon myself in songs like this while I grieved the death of a marriage and a family unit.  In hindsight, I believe I should have chosen songs with more positive lyrics instead of ones that kept me glued to my pity pot.

Listening to music with positive messages, an upbeat tempo or simply a soothing instrumental song can change the energy of you and your space.  The only thing is that like the chicken and the egg, I am not sure which comes first.  DO we choose our music based on what our Soul is feeling OR is our Soul affected by the music we choose?  Regardless of the answer to this, we all should consciously choose the music we listen to in order to enhance our true selves!

Allow music to make your heart sing

Leaves among the rocks

Photo credit: Susan Muehl

The fact that I unconsciously began singing, “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head” today while I was out walking in nature doesn’t surprise me.  Through all the trauma-drama in my life I have emerged on the other side full of bliss.  My choices in music mirror that, even the ones in my head.  Sure I still love Reba McEntire and some of the other great country songs.  I just fill my head with the positive ones like one of my all-time favorites by The Dixie Chicks, “Wide Open Spaces”.  To this day that song reminds me of two women I deeply admire – Lori Saylor Milan and Blair Kernodle Scheepers – both of whom went in search of wide open spaces for their souls.  Or, for a quick smile I listen to Jimmy Buffet’s song, “Cheeseburgers In Paradise” as my son, Jimmy and I used to love to dance in the kitchen around the center island to the song while systematically pulling from the fridge all the ingredients in the song.  More often than not though, I enjoy the sounds of silence as I expressed in my post, Let Nature Restoreth Your Soul (And Your Home) in order to hear life around me!

Choose music that can do all kinds of wonderful things for you.  Choose music to positively impact your energy and the energy of your space.  The music you choose is a choice you make.  It is that simple.  Choose music that speaks what your soul feels.

I read somewhere that music IS the heart of a person.  The heart is formed in the home, which again speaks to my firm belief – everything begins in the home.  Honor your home with the best you can give it.

There is music in all of us – we just need to listen…

This entry was posted in Entertaining, Healthy Living, Inspiration, Nature, Psychology, Spirituality, Symbology, Trends and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , by Jamie Balzer. Bookmark the permalink.
Jamie Balzer

About Jamie Balzer

Jamie has worked in the field of interior decorating for over 10 years and has owned B&A Interiors, LLC for almost as long. Partnered with her daughter, Sammi Blake, Jamie has been honored to work in homes and businesses across the country. Knowledge and experience is but part of what she has to offer. As a young girl, Jamie intuitively understood that the placement of things, the color of things, and the arrangement of things evoke certain feelings. Working together with this knowledge, experience and intuition Jamie has answered the call to her life’s purpose- teaching the spiritual truth of what she believes- “Everything begins in the home”. As a branch of B&A Interiors, LLC, Living In Perfect Harmony emerged to teach her philosophy. Jamie believes, “if you live peacefully and beautifully at home, you are well, your family is well and that helps to make the world a better place”. Jamie's most passionate role is as a mother and grandmother. Jamie currently lives and works in the Chicago area but also continues her business in Charlotte, NC as both a decorator and a homespace coach. She is certified in Reiki Therapy which she believes broadens her success as a homespace coach. Jamie is available for private consultations, lectures and seminars.

8 thoughts on “How Music Can Influence Your Space

  1. Jamie, I am still great friends with Jackie Wilkerson. I am certain that she was excited to hear from you. I will call her and let her know that your article is out today. Gary

    • Gary, what a small world to know you are good friends with Dr. Wilkerson! I was so thrilled to reconnect with her after all these years and share with her my memories of her class. Each and every day we all have the ability to impact other’s live-in a meaningful way. Dr. (Mrs.) Wilkerson certainly left an imprint on mine. You see, I thought after college that I would work in the field of psychology. I didn’t end up there for various reasons. Oddly enough, one day I realized that I AM actually in the field of psychology as I apply the theories of psychology in every client’s space I touch. Much like what a psychologist counsels in the office, I counsel in the home- all meant to create a better plan of how to live the best life you can. Gary, everything does begin in the home. I hope I am able to bring awareness to each person I connect with in order to express the importance of HOME.

  2. Hi Jamie, I know I am greatly influenced by music. I especially love what my Gary calls my Enya-esque wafting through my home as background. Lively for driving and dancing, etc.
    My feelings – your grieving songs were absolutely necessary to get it out and then you can again hear the songs of joy for your heart.
    god bless, Joy Stark

    • Well said! Music for me does speak what my Soul feels and certainly that chapter of my life (during my separation and subsequent divorce) was a time of mourning for me so sad tunes fit well. However, in hindsight I still do wonder if I could have altered my mood with more upbeat songs. At this point it just flat does not matter. I took the road less traveled by, got over my anger and loss and found bliss. (I call this “the road less traveled by” because the road I chose requires tremendous work on the psyche in order to truly heal. I think most people don’t have the courage to do this as it requires heavy duty work and sifting through numerous layers of pain.) I have learned that Blissfulness takes a lot less energy than negative emotions. The best music for me now is total silence so that the volume of life gets heard! Thanks as always Joy- your comments touch me each and every time. Here’s hoping that everyone out there knows bliss or if not, does the work to find it. It is there for all of us…

  3. Music in the house reminds me of dad. He always had music playing. Before surround sound, dad had speakers place around the living room so get the best sound possible. He even place speakers out by the pool. This was all in the late 60′, early 70′, he was so ahead of his time.
    On another note, I raised our 4 girls telling them the driver of the car got to pick the music on the radio. This save arguments, plus keeps the driver happy.

    • M.A., you are so right about Daddy – I know I still refer to him that way even at my age! I guess he will forever be Daddy to me! Anyway, we did grow up in a house of music. I loved listening to Swing Era Music like “Don’t Sit Under The AppleTree” (or whatever the exact name of the song is), Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole when we were children. Daddy’s big speakers that were set up out by the pool transformed many lazy summer days around the pool. There was nothing better than the music at cocktail time at the end of a day of watching the grandkids dive off the diving board. I can still see him walking around the pool handing out Tom Collins’ to each of us that were there. He made the best ever!!! I am guessing the neighbors tired of the music but, it sure set the mood for us. What wonderful memories many of us have of the man and his music. Our clan as well as many dear friends experienced and loved it all. October 30th is nearing, the day over 20 years ago that we lost Daddy to cancer. I hope he is smiling down on us while humming a catchy tune!

Comments are closed.