Science Project:

Music In My Blood

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The goals of this project are:

  1. To determine whether or not listening to music effects blood pressure.
  2. To explore the potential health benefits of music.

Research Questions:

  • Can listening to music really improve physical health?
  • Which valid scientific studies support this theory?

Music is an art form that organizes sounds in way that some people like or find interesting. Like any art form, musical quality is a matter of personal taste. Almost any piece of music pleases some people, irritates others, and leaves a third group unaffected. Proponents of “Music Therapy” claim that listening to music has certain health benefits. In this project you will devise a test that will help support or discredit this theory.

Materials:

  • Computer with Internet access
  • Color printer
  • Digital camera
  • Blood pressure measuring apparatus
  • Typical office/hobby/hardware/craft supplies (paper, poster board, glue, etc.).
  • At least 45 adult volunteers

Experimental Procedure

  1. Read overview of relevant topics (see bibliography below).
  2. Address all of the terms and research questions mentioned here.
  3. Search and print out interesting images relevant to your topic.
  4. Take photographs throughout the course of the experiment.
  5. Randomly divide the volunteers into three groups of equal size.
  6. Place volunteers in a quiet room for about 15 minutes.
  7. Record each volunteer's blood pressure.
  8. Have Group 1 listen to music they enjoy for 15 minutes, then remeasure blood pressure.
  9. Have Group 2 listen to music they dislike for 15 minutes, then remeasure blood pressure.
  10. Have Group 3 sit silently (no music) for 15 minutes, the remeasure blood pressure.
  11. Compare blood pressure readings before and after the listening session.
  12. Compare blood pressure readings between groups.
  13. Analyze your results.
  14. Write a detailed report.
  15. Include photos, diagrams, demonstrations in your science fair display.

Terms/Concepts: Autonomic functioning; Music Therapy; Psychoacoustics

References:

Author: Judee Shipman
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