For years, I have preached the good word describing benefits of music within one’s life. I have personally seen the effects of the calming force of Andrew Bird during homework hour to creating a “mixed tape” of inspirational and funny songs for my mother while she underwent radiation for breast cancer.
Music matters, and now I can prove it.
Recently a study was done by Sonos in partnership with Apple Music along with Daniel Levitin. If you have not heard his name, look him up. He wrote a book in 2007 called, “This Is Your Brain on Music.” For this study, 30,000 general music listening people were polled. “In 30 homes throughout the world, they conducted an experiment. For one week, the members of each household didn’t listen to any music out loud,” explained FastCompany magazine in a recently published article. “The following week, they did.” During the second week, “Families and housemates were free to put on whatever music they wanted whenever they wanted.”
Levitin calls the findings “a nexus of intimacy and togetherness.” Music truly does bring the people together.
The average distance between household members decreased by 12 percent during the in-home study. In the U.S., housemates (usually family members) spent four and a half more hours together with music playing than without it. With music on, people were 33 percent more likely to cook together and 85 percent more likely to invite people over. They were 15 percent more likely to laugh together and 18 percent more likely to utter the words, "I love you."
Levitin surmised that listening to music over the speakers triggers the hormone oxytocin, also known as the love hormone. So yes, playing music in intimate places like the bedroom also works wonders. I will leave it at that.
The study conducted by Sonos established the connection between music and mood. “The same way we use coffee to get stimulated or alcohol or pot to get calm, we have music that fits these different moods or alters these different moods and alters their neurochemistry," Levitin said.
When music was playing respondents were:
- 24-percent less irritable (dance party anyone?)
- 25-percent more inspired (as proven in every good coffee shop)
- 16-percent increase in overall positive feelings
- 22-percent more physically active (ever see a runner without earbuds on)
- And as every house cleaner already knows, household chores were 80-percent easier to complete
Another of my favorite findings had to do with food. Have you ever been to a restaurant where you cannot hear the person across from you speak? Would you go back? Now think of your favorite dining spot, and I bet they have music and that the acoustics are pleasant. Fifty-eight percent of responders said food tasted better when music was playing. I sent that little factoid to a new restaurant that is opening a mile away from our showroom. This week, he signed and gave his deposit on the audio system we quoted for the space.
This study is groundbreaking because it observed people in their natural habitats—at home and in the wild. We, as technology experts, can now give numbers and facts to our clients, not more stories! Music is not just easier than ever before to consume and to mold around a person’s musical tastes, but also easier than ever to set up with the advent of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. We are in a golden age of music, and there is no reason anyone’s house should not be outfitted with some enhanced audio.
As industry professionals, we must continue to train the public to inform them of studies likes these and the affordability and easy of today’s systems. You know that if we were selling diet pills with these benefits, we would all be millionaires by now. In fact, these findings are better than most drugs.
Now go install a system and change a life.