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Music Tasks and Energetic Arousal

The most recent research article that I have read is “Musical Tasks and Energetic Arousal” published in the Spring 2018 edition of the Journal of Music Therapy. We all know that music can affect our mood and energy level. As a music therapist, I want to make sure that the music and music interventions I choose are the most appropriate to the needs of my clients. One of the variables the researchers looked at was the complexity of the musical task. They found that the more complex task increased energy levels the most. However, they also found that the least complex tasks actually decreased energy level. The researchers also looked at caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine use, gender, amount of sleep reported, and introversion vs. extroversion. One of the more interesting findings of the study was that pre-intervention levels of arousal were significantly higher for extroverts. However, their energy levels were more likely to decrease during the session while the introverts’ energy levels were more likely to decrease. At the end of the session, energy levels were about the same for both groups. Another interesting factor is that the participants were students at a University. They were required to take part in a research study for class credit. I would like to know if they have found that this influences the results of studies. The researchers also cautioned that their sample size (n=117) was pretty small and would like to see if a larger sample size has any effect on the results.

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