Cows produce more milk when listening to tunes. Especially slow tunes, or country. Apparently the cows don’t think too much of Willie Nelson, but love:
REM’s Everybody Hurts, closely followed by Aretha Franklin’s version of What a Difference a Day Makes. Simon and Garfunkel’s epic Bridge Over Troubled Water and Danny Williams singing Moon River were next. Lou Reed’s Perfect Day was a not-quite-ideal fourth, while Celtic Woman’s cover of Enya’s Orinoco Flow was anudder (sorry) favourite.
The theory is the music helps them relax, and relaxed cows produce more milk than agitated, jumpy cows.
The same is true, as it turns out, for people. Loud frenetic music makes us agitated. Calm music is soothing. Happy, rhythmic music fosters cooperative behavior. While that may have all sorts of implications for work places and malls, one important take-away is that music affects behavior and mood.
In Ally McBeal, a show about a slightly neurotic young female lawyer, Ally’s therapist suggests she figure out a theme song to boost her confidence and mental health. When that isn’t enough, the therapist suggests Ally add some back-up singers, like Gladys Knight’s Pips, into her mental image. Playing that song in her head, with her Pips, gives Ally more confidence to get through stressful situations.
What’s your theme song? What song gives you confidence and courage or helps you pick yourself back up after a stumble? What song gives you energy?
No reason to pick just one. We can assemble a whole play list of songs to listen to as we go through life. And don’t forget the extra support of picturing your very own Pips in your imagination as you listen.