How often have you heard someone say: “Wow… that song really moves me!”… or “That piece is so stirring…!” Well, there’s a reason for that: there’s an emotional connection… a bridge… which inexorably links our physical selves in this earthly world to our souls in the spiritual world. It’s one of the very few absolutes we can count on. And unless you’re sociopathic or a psychopath.. it’s inescapable. In other words, being touched in some way by any/all music that you hear makes an impact to some extent that’s unavoidable. One’s auditory connection to the physical world instantly translates any music you hear into emotional “triggers” that migrate immediately to the cerebellum and hippocampus (part of the brain’s limbic system) regions in the central and medial temporal lobe of the brain where neurons process the synapses into sensation… what we call “emotional feelings”.

The impact of these emotional feelings varies for myriad reasons of course, a few being one’s personality, likes/dislikes, environmental situations and so on. But there is no discussion that can argue against this impact and how this transferance moves our spiritual intent to new highs… or lows depending on the music. I said spiritual intent because the reality is that your emotions drive your spirit whether you want that or not.

And you CAN function with intent both physically and emotionally… and you should. Otherwise, as you no doubt have commented to yourself at times about some people you have seen, your life becomes aimless, your actions shiftless and without direction. Seems lately like there’s so many more people like that these days, young and old: without direction, without intent. I’m certain that if used correctly, music could help them.

The fascinating study of how truly impactful and enriching music is to humanity has in recent years become an entire and separate discipline of collegiate study: music therapy. Just visit Children’s Hospital Los Angeles or any hospital with major emphasis in children’s medicine and you will see music therapy being applied just as readily as pharmacological remedies. The point here is that the biological effect AND the spiritual effect BOTH need to be applied in many cases to aid in full and comprehensive treatment if a young patient is to be returned to full health. And I mean FULL health, which includes spiritual nourishment in equal amounts as medication. Music can and does provide emotional uplifting which raises the spirit in injured or diseased patients and obviously now, it is done with the intent that the process will manifest very positive results. It’s been proven. It works.

Maybe just think about that for a minute. Sure, we all talk about this song or that symphony making us feel great or that artist delivering a rendition of a song that brings us to tears. But consider what we are saying: in so many words, we are giving credence to a sensation of artistic creation that delivers positive health. The emotion derived from hearing sweet music delivers impulses to us that as reaction, uplift our spirit and give aid to our physical wellness. Once we fully understand this process… how music benefits our spirit and being… we can live better. We can become more whole as persons. The purpose of music is to enrich a moment as a form of personal expression whether it be uplifting or otherwise. It’s a creation of that moment unlike any other so it’s unique and special and as we hear, listen and digest the music it will in fact, change our lives even if temporarily by driving our spirit to happiness… or sadness if the music warrants that.

If our intent was to get into a “mood”… or if we arrived at a mood accidentally… only music could do that, can affect our emotions and spirit this way. Sometimes we don’t always mean to be affected… it just happens. But the result is usually good. Usually positive. Which is great if we accidentally happen to get to “that happy place”.

Could it be that planning to listen to music is by itself an intent, a form of self-therapy that is just possibly the lowest cost medical and psycho therapy available… without insurance of any kind having to approve it?

I KNOW it is. If you have any doubts about this concept whatsoever, I challenge you to just try to listen to some of your favorite music or even music you haven’t previously listened to without becoming “moved” emotionally in even the smallest way. Your spirit won’t allow you to remain detached. Just see how great you feel after listening to Beethoven’s 5th Symphony’s 2nd Movement. Absolutely the best!!

James Kōb is a classically trained veteran composer and musician who writes and arranges music and lyrics in a variety of genres… and languages. James has performed in just about every venue there is: from nightclubs to open stadium-type festivals. He’s performed jazz, rock, R&B big-band, orchestra and unplugged guitar styles and continues to perfect his playing and composing skills. Raised in the American Midwest and collegiately schooled in music composition, he currently resides in Southern California where he has most recently been producing his album: “So Right…. The James Kōb Experience”…. a somewhat “smooth jazz” collection of new original compositions in the Bossa Nova, Latin and Adult Contemporary styles.