When it comes about talking around music software in relation with social skills, it is time to talk about education but also health and ability or disability. Indeed, the development of social skills supposes a good health (physical and mental) and the capacity to master emotions in presence of other people.
Searching for studies related to music software and social skills, I found 3 main types of documents:
- Papers talking about developping social skills in music higher education
- Articles related to music in social space
- Researchs related to the advantages of producing and using music and computer music in the framework of autism
I just extract some interesting informations in all of that, hoping that they are useful for professional musicians and amateur musicians involved in social life.
Higher education is like every training place dedicated to solo learning: listening to a teacher includes silence and writing, exams suppose silence and memorization,…
That is why students appreciate participative music creation events in the framework of educational activities. They let them test their musical abilities as well as their creativity in the framework of a group. Also they can become friends with (other) like-minded people, enhance their social skills and reinforce self-esteem and satisfaction.
In such experiences, students listening and sight-reading skills as well as their ability to convey
emotions through music are enhanced. Studies show that playing in groups help them to develop both their solo and ensemble playing skills. Listening to other people permits to develop a better inner listening ability.
When the study of music has not a diploma and a career as main goal:
- personal motivations are self-expression, recreation, self-improvement, and use of leisure time
- musical motivations are love of music, performing for oneself and others, learning more about music
- social motivations are meeting new people and to belong to a new group which is not the main stream of revenue (such a group can be linked to a form of spiritual life)
Generaly these situations concern adults. The benefits to these ones of engagement in music making numerous. Choirs and ensembles generate positive emotional, social, physical, and creative outcomes. Music making can also help adults move toward socio-political transformation and contributes to perceived good health, quality of life, and mental well-being.
In matter of relationships between music and health, I found references to autism – and also dyslexia.
The main problem of the autist person is the lack of ability to develop social skills. So, given that a person’s self-esteem and self-image are developed through interactions with others, the autist person has to search for personal ways and codes to establish communications with people (looking at colors and all sorts of signs which somewhere have as function, in the mind of the autist person, to authorize the communication between the autist person and any other person).
As graphic arts, music may help health specialists to establish interactions and contribute substantially to the creation of some self-image by an autist person. In the United-States, some years ago, a 52 weeks active music therapy offered one 60 minutes session per week to young adults with severe autism. The target was to get them more ‘present’ than ‘absent’ during the musical activities and good results were obtained. So it seems that music can be of aid in improving autistic symptoms as well as helping autist persons to acquire some musical skills.
It says a lot about the power of music! Now, I will myself be careful and will certainly not write that technology could bring something in these situations which require a lot of humanity, visual contacts betwen persons and gestures.
And I did not find any study related to links between physical diseases and music. It probably means that musical therapy has more to do with psychological and mental health or learning skills than physical diseases. However maybe it does not mean that music cannot help in cases of leukemia, cancer and all serious disorders more related to body. Even if music can «only» bring some joy, is not joy a very important thing? I surely missed some important documents and maybe I will search later again…
The role of software
In the framework of higher music education and adult music practice, a music software is a tool which can support students and teachers, chorists and choir directors. Indeed, students who want to pursue a career in music can use it to teach younger students and choir directors to help adult chorists to acquire some useful knowledge for the choir.
So, if you are a student/teacher, choir director/chorist, for example, you can get such a tool for free. Indeed at Arpege Music we offer our music notation ‘Pizzicato Light’ for free in download via a system of coupons (whatever is the number needed). Everyone can register freely at : http://www.arpegemusic.com/music-education-software.htm#B4