Aug 29th 2016

How Music Can Change Your Life (Coursera)

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Did you ever wonder how music works? This course provides free video, audio and journal resources that explain six basic principles about how music can influence individual and community health and wellbeing. From biology and neuroscience, to psychotherapy and politics, the ways we engage with music can make all the difference. Music has always played an integral role in the lives of individuals and communities all around the globe.

This course explores the ways that music can be used to achieve positive changes with a particular emphasis on the most vulnerable persons. Six different understandings will be explored, each with their own set of values and assumptions. The greatest thinkers in each approach believe that their way of explaining the power of music is right, but we will show that understanding music in its entirety delivers the best results in each unique circumstance. Once we understand the various ways that music can change the world, we can make informed decisions about how best to employ its extraordinary power.

Learners who engage in this MOOC can expect to both deepen and broaden their understanding of how music can be used with individuals, groups and communities. Specifically: • To distinguish between how music works on the body, in the brain, through the unconscious, for bonding, as political action and in reflecting culture, • To design practical programs that utilise music to support individuals, groups and communities based on examples shared in the ‘on-site’ case studies.

Who is this class for: This course will be relevant for anyone who has an interest in the ways that music can be used to enhance health, wellbeing and connectedness. You don't have to be a musician to be able to understand and use some of these ideas, but an interest in music will make the learning more rewarding and enjoyable. For those who work in hospitals and settings that value scientific evidence, unit one will be most relevant. Unit two is designed for those working in educational contexts, with both an interest in music learning and other achievements. Unit three focuses on mental health, with a particular emphasis on psychotherapeutic concepts, both traditional and contemporary. Unit four uses the parent-infant relationship as a way of illustrating music in intimate relationships and may be particularly interesting for parents. Unit five is oriented to community development and emphasises empowering ways of working with communities. Unit six draws heavily on knowledge from indigenous cultures and explores the importance of cultural sensitivity within and between people of all cultures.