The Effects of Listening to Recorded Percussion Music on Well-being: A Pilot Study

Leanne Hoeft
Petra Kern


There has been a shift in the healthcare field over the past decades encouraging individuals to focus on wellness and prevention of illness. This has created a large market for recorded music with a wide range of purposes, which includes facilitating relaxation, altering mood, or increasing an individual's energy level, among others. This pilot study examined whether intentional recorded wellness music (i.e., music that has been composed and recorded with the intent of evoking a specific wellness-effect in the listener) can change the mood, level of relaxation, energy level, or focus of the listener, while also exploring listeners' ability to identify the composer's intent behind the music. Using a pre/post test questionnaire and three 30-second selections of recorded percussion music, 208 undergraduate students voluntarily participated in this study. Results indicated that the music excerpts did have a significant effect on participants' moods as well as their levels of relaxation, energy, and focus. Twenty percent of participants correctly identified the Clarity (focus) excerpt, forty-five percent correctly identified Serenity (calm), and twenty-eight percent correctly identified Vitality (energy). Future investigations and implications for music therapy practice will be discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)