Heart Beats

From the steady beats of the human heart to the cadence of a musical piece, rhythm pervades every aspect of our lives. Rhythm plays a particularly significant role in the functioning of the human organism including the psychomotor, affective and cognitive domains. It is the rhythmic nature of our physiological processes which drives our movements, hearts beats, and other regularly occurring physiological functions. Apart from the psychomotor functions, rhythm also impacts the affective aspects of our lives. In a musical context, for example, music affects the human emotions such that a slow beat is calming and a fast one agitating to the human organism. Finally, rhythm partakes of a significant role in our cognitive functions although little has been written on the topic. Most of the existing empirical data on rhythm contribute to our understanding of memory for rhythm; however there is little which helps us comprehend the impact which has upon verbal memory. Although an increasing amount of research is emerging in the area of psychology of music, that is, the segment of psychology which deals with the psychological processes involved in the perception of music and its various sub-components, little literature can be found which concentrates exclusively on the interaction of rhythm and the memorization of verbal information. 10339611_660309464024579_5521539974368615848_n

Lachen

Lachen versterkt het immuunsysteem, waardoor het lichaam beter bestand is tegen virussen en bacteriën. Lachen ontspant en vermindert stress, de bloeddruk en hartproblemen. Het verhoogt het zuurstofgehalte in het bloed, stimuleert de bloedsomloop en ontspant de spieren. Tijdens het lachen komen er endorfines vrij in je hersenen, waardoor je je goed gaat voelen en eventuele pijn en een teveel aan stresshormonen vermindert.

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Méér lachen is goed voor iedereen en vooral voor diegenen die kampen met stress, depressie, bezorgdheid en slapeloosheid.

13 Questions Every Leader Should Think About (Often)

Do you keep 50% of your time unscheduled?

Drum Cafe West

 

Spring has sprung, and we’ve been attending a whirlwind of spring kickoff meetings around the western U.S. Most recently, we headed to Las Vegas to open a kickoff meeting for an organization that manages electronic medical records. The theme of the event was, “What’s Next: Healthcare of the Future,” and the goal of the gathering was to connect healthcare professionals that use the organization’s products and provide additional educational sessions.

Team West

As many organizations that call Drum Cafe West to open their events do, this particular company was seeking that extra special opening. Our role in kicking off the conference was to bring the attendees together to encourage collaboration throughout the remaining education sessions so that attendees embraced the desire to share and learn from one another. Overall, the group was very social and great at networking, but they tended to stay in their smaller groups with those they already knew. All of that changed when the drumming began.

It’s always interesting to watch participants enter our events because it gives us such an intimate look at the company culture. For this particular event, the attendees were all very hesitant and confused when they heard the beating of the drums. That quickly changed as one by one, participants picked up their drums and began tapping their hands along to the rhythm with us. It’s a powerful moment when everyone in the room realizes that not only are they individually far more rhythmically inclined than they initially believed, but that together, they’re creating a beautiful piece of music. This is what makes the Drum Cafe West program so universal—the concepts of Ubuntu and collaboration transcend the barriers of organizational structure and work field. While every single one of our programs is custom tailored to the company we’re presenting for, the core demonstrations and key concepts always translate.

The team at CHUG embraced the concept of Ubuntu, and through our rhythmic demonstration of corporate team building concepts, they transformed from an organization of individuals to a team that was united, uplifted, and inspired to take action. As a whole, they committed to walking away from our event with renewed vows to connect with the bigger picture instead of getting caught up in their daily to-dos, to sharpen their skills, and to create a better space to share with and learn from one another. Aligned to their CHUG heartbeat, the team was ready to tackle the rest of their conference with boundless energy and a positive attitude.

We were thrilled to kick off CHUG’s spring conference with a bang. It’s experiences like this that remind us why we love what we do so much.

Science Shows How Drummers’ Brains Are Actually Different From Everybody Else’s’

In the music world, drummer jokes are always popular. Most of them have the same punch line: Drummers are idiots. Take, for example, the following: “How do you tell if the stage is level? The drummer is drooling from both sides of his mouth.”

Whether it’s being ruthlessly mocked for their idiocy, repeatedly killed in This Is Spinal Tap or just lusted after less often than the lead guitarist (whom we’ve already studied), drummers walk a tough road. But it turns out science holds them in really high regard: They have a rare, innate ability to problem-solve and change those around them.

For starters, drummers can actually be smarter than their less rhythmically-focused band mates. A study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm found a link between intelligence, good timing and the part of the brain used for problem-solving. Researchers had drummers play a variety of different beats and then tasked them with a simple 60-problem intelligence test. The drummers who scored the highest were also better able to keep a steady beat.
Apparently figuring out how to play in time is just another form of problem-solving. At last, hard proof that John Bonham really was a genius.

But even though a steady drummer may be more intelligent than his or her band mates, the drummer’s gifts can be shared: a tight beat can actually transfer that natural intelligence to others. In studies on the effects of rhythm on brains, researchers showed that experiencing a steady rhythm actually improves cognitive function.
One psychology professor at the University of Washington used rhythmic light and sound therapy on his students and discovered that their grades improved. Similarly, one researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch used that method on a group of elementary and middle school boys with ADD. The therapies had a similar effect to Ritalin, eventually making lasting increases to the boys’ IQ scores.

Granted, these studies focused more on the effects of rhythm on the mind rather than on the mind behind the rhythm. That being said, drummers’ consistent rhythmic focus has positive effects on them and those around them (yes, even their neighbours). That’s because when drummers bring a steady rhythm (and corresponding problem-solving abilities) to a group setting, they actually create a “drummer’s high” for everyone around them.
University of Oxford researchers discovered that when drummers play together, both their happiness levels and pain tolerance increase, similar to Olympic runners.

Observing that high led researchers to hypothesize that drumming was integral to community-building and that sharing rhythms could be the sort of behaviour necessary for the evolution of human society.

South African Drummers

Drumming is a fundamentally human thing. A lot of modern music has shifted towards drum machines over humans to create ultra-precise electronic rhythms. But it turns out that what we typically perceive as error is really just a uniquely human sense of time:
Researchers at Harvard found that drummers harness a different sort of internal clock that moves in waves, rather than linearly as a real clock does.
They match an innate rhythm that has been found in human brainwaves, heart rates during sleep and even the auditory nerve firings in cats. When a human drummer plays, he or she finds a human rhythm.

So the stereotypes aren’t just baseless, they’re also plain wrong. A lot of these studies have to do with rhythm just as much as with drumming, but drummers are more engaged with those mental elements than most. They are people tapped into a fundamental undercurrent of what it means to be human, people around whom bands and communities form.

Jordan Taylor Sloan Journalist

De volle maan van 14 mei 2014: vruchtbaarheid en intense emoties

We bevinden ons midden in de lente ook al zou je dat nu misschien niet denken. We hebben herfstachtig weer, terwijl de natuur ongeveer een maand voor loopt. Toch is dit nog steeds de tijd van groei, bloei, bevruchting en vruchtbaarheid. Het nieuwe leven is niet meer zo kwetsbaar en manifesteert zich duidelijk. De sapstroom is volledig op gang en sterker dan in de rest van het jaar. Deze volle maan heet de Maan van het Ontwaken. Bij ons mensen wordt het ontwaken van de levenskracht vaak gevoeld als sensualiteit en hartstocht. Stem je af op deze energie en richt die op je eigen geliefde doelen. Het thema van deze Maanperiode is vruchtbaarheid.

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De volle maan staat in het teken Schorpioen en dat maakt heel gevoelig voor emotionele invloeden. Schorpioen staat voor diepgang, psychologisch onderzoek, taboes doorbreken, waarheid en transformatie. De Zon schijnt licht op de Maan vanuit het tegenoverliggende teken: Stier. Dit aardeteken zoekt veiligheid in materie en bezit, houdt van comfort, is nuchter en houdt liever vast aan iets bestaands uit gewoonte of voor de veiligheid. Hierin is de strijd te zien tussen vasthouden of loslaten.

Tussen Venus en Pluto heerst spanning en die kan vooral te voelen zijn in de liefde. Weet je zeker wat je wilt? Pluto kan ineens een nieuw licht werpen op je relatie en thema’s als macht en onmacht, afhankelijkheid en onafhankelijkheid blootleggen. Je kunt de macht van de liefde ervaren of door liefde diepgaand veranderen. Er is een drang naar vrijheid en vernieuwing in de liefde. Uranus kan ervoor zorgen dat er plots iets gebeurt waardoor je een nieuwe ervaring opdoet en je leven niet meer hetzelfde is als voorheen.

Saturnus staat naast de Maan en dit kan een innerlijke strijd opleveren: je hart volgen of vasthouden aan maatschappelijke regels? ‘Doe nou maar normaal’, gaan voor veilige structuur ook al is die saai, of je passie volgen? Zoeken naar diepgang en het ware leven ervaren, betekent dat je ook je schaduwkant tegenkomt. Deze volle maan gaat over dood en wedergeboorte, die liggen in elkaars verlengde. Het is aan jou welke laag je loslaat en welke laag je opbouwt.

Emoties kunnen dus zeer intens worden beleefd in deze periode. Het is goed te beseffen welke emotie(s) jij koestert en welke emotie(s) jij terugstuurt naar de donkere cel van je onderbewuste. Beide kunnen je namelijk in hun grip houden en je vrijheid belemmeren.

Zuiver jezelf en je leefomgeving. Maak tijd om te beseffen wat je intenties zijn, zorg dat je zelf de regie houdt en dat je niet te ver afdwaalt van jouw bestemming. Voel tot in de diepte van je ziel waarnaar je passie werkelijk uitgaat. Gebruik de energie van deze Maan om je plannen, doelen, wensen of projecten net even dat extra duwtje te geven dat nodig is om ze later ook hun vruchten te laten afwerpen. Vier het leven en de liefde!

Petra Stam

 

Music reduses stress

Listening to music can be a great pick-me-up for when you are feeling stressed.
People plug into their music players to give them a mood boost about work, and almost one in four said that they find listening to music on the way to the workplace helps them de-stress.

Playing an instrument seems to improve your health in a variety of ways. Making music definitely relieves stress. And stress can be bad for your mental and physical health.children

“As many as three in ten children with autism are nonverbal. Yet many children with autism have superior auditory skills and a particular attraction to music. Based on these observations, I and my colleagues have been using forms of music-making that encourage vocalization as a pathway to developing language.

We call our therapy Auditory-Motor Mapping Training (AMMT), and our approach is built on two findings.

First research has shown that music-making creates clear changes in the human brain. In particular we know that it engages and strengthens connections between the auditory and motor regions and improves mapping of sounds to actions. Second, here at our Music and Neuroimaging Lab, we have successfully used a form of singing (i.e., Melodic Intonation Therapy) to help stroke patients regain speech lost after a stroke (aphasia). In essence, our therapies involve having the patient sing words and phrases while using a coordinated movement of the hand not affected by the stroke. This helps their brains map sounds to actions.

In recent years, we’ve adapted our music-motor therapy for stroke victims in ways that allow us to use it with children who have autism and little or no speech. In simplified terms: Our team members sing words and phrases with social connotations (for example, “more please,” “mommy,” “all done”) to the children and with the children, while showing them pictures of the action, person or object. At the same time, we guide each child’s hand to play two drum pads tuned to different pitches.

We believe that intensive, repetitive training—pairing sound with actions–can engage and strengthen the brain pathways needed to speak. In our recently published “proof of concept” study, each participant received 40 treatment sessions, conducted 5 days per week over an 8 week period, with each session lasting 45 minutes. Further analysis revealed that the therapy’s benefits probably occur in the first 25 sessions.”

Gottfried Schlaug, MD, PhD, director of the Music and Neuroimaging Laboratory and associate professor of neurology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, in Boston. Recipient of an Autism Speaks Treatment Research Grant.

 

Drumming is as a katalysator for all life and mind processing passing through body and mind just by activating breathing and heart rate and supports all moving energies .

Energize
Energize

[ factually you are pure streaming energy ]

Finding Happiness

I usually don’t get very excited about business books, but I recently ran across one that’s really powerful: Finding Happiness: One Man’s Quest to Beat Depression and Anxiety and–Finally–Let the Sunshine In, by former CEO Todd Patkin.

Patkin has identified 14 phrases that really improve morale when they come from the boss. Here are the 10 that impressed me the most:

1. “I need your help.”

You aren’t Superman (or Wonder Woman) and your employees know it, so don’t pretend to know all the answers or pretend that you can get along fine without your employees and their skills.

Rather than losing respect for you as a leader, they’ll appreciate that you treated them as valued partners–and they’ll feel more invested in your company’s future because they had more of a hand in creating it.

2. “What do you need from me?”

Often, employees are anxious about asking the boss for what they need, because they may fear a harsh response, they want to avoid looking needy, or they simply feel that it’s not their place to ask for more than you’ve already provided.

By explicitly asking what you can give them, you extend permission for your people to make those requests–and they’ll certainly appreciate it. If you can’t give an employee what she asks for, explain why and work with her to find another solution.

3. “I noticed what you did.”

Every day, your employees do a lot of “little” things that keep your company running smoothly and customers coming back, including refilling the copier and double-checking reports for errors before sending them on.

Employees want to know that you notice and value the mundane parts of their jobs, not just the big wins and achievements. Make it your mission to catch as many of your employees as possible doing stuff right.

4. “Thank you.”

Whether you say, “Thanks for staying late last night,” “Thanks for being so patient with Mrs. Smith–I know she can be a difficult customer,” or something else, your people treasure your appreciation more than you realize.

People love to hear positive feedback about themselves, and in most cases, they’ll be willing to work a lot harder to keep the compliments and thanks coming. Praise, especially when it comes from an authority figure, is incredibly fulfilling.

5. “Hey, everyone–listen to what Joe accomplished!”

Everybody loves to be recognized and complimented in front of their peers. So don’t stop with a compliment when an employee experiences a win–tell the rest of the team, too!

Whether correctly or incorrectly, many employees feel that their leaders point out only their mistakes in front of the group, so make it your daily mission to prove that perception wrong.

6. “What would you like to do here?”

Sure, you originally hired each of your employees to do specific jobs. But over time, your company has grown and changed–and so have your people. Therefore, it’s a good idea to check in with each one of them periodically to ask what everyone would like to be doing.

No, you won’t always be able to accommodate an employee’s preferences. But keep job descriptions within your company fluid, and allow your people to have a say in matching their skills to the company’s needs.

7. “I have bad news.”

Your instinct might be to play down negative developments, or even keep them to yourself entirely. However, your employees deserve to hear the truth from you as soon as possible.

Employees aren’t stupid and will be able to tell when something is up even if you don’t acknowledge it. By refusing to share bad news, you’ll only increase paranoia and anxiousness–neither of which is productive.

8. “What do you think?”

Employees who are simply told what to do feel like numbers or cogs in a machine, and as a result their performance becomes grudging and uninspired. By contrast, you make your employees feel like valued partners by asking for their opinions, ideas, and preferences.

They’ll be much more invested in your organization’s success because they had an active part in creating it. And guess what? Your employees probably won’t care as much as you think if their suggestions don’t become reality. Mostly, they just want to be heard.

9. “That’s OK. We all make mistakes.”

Lambasting employees who dropped the ball may make you feel better, but it will damage their self-confidence, their relationship with you, and their feelings for your company.

Take a deep breath and remind yourself that the employee feels very bad already, and that yelling or lecturing won’t change the past. Instead, focus on figuring out what went wrong and how to keep it from happening again.

10. “I know you can do it.”

Of course, you should try to hire employees who are confident and self-directed. But even the most self-assured individuals appreciate an explicit vote of confidence from their leaders!

Constantly challenge your people, and push them to improve while reassuring them that you believe in them. Everyone, no matter how capable or experienced the person is, appreciates encouragement.

Bravo, Todd! And thanks for sharing!