Classical Music Aids Test Anxiety

With finals week approaching, many people will be looking for ways to get the most out of their study time. Some attempt to get extra study time in by “cramming” for the exam but this doesn’t always work. Some are so afraid of tests that they get test anxiety and can’t sleep. Current research points to classical music as an effective study and concentration aid and according to a recent article by Allison Engel in Imperial Valley News:”Classical music can help soothe insomnia.”

“A team of researchers at the University of Toronto found that tuning into classical music before bedtime helped people fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Works by Brahms, Handel, Mozart, Strauss and Bach were effective sleep aids because they use rhythms and tonal patterns that create a meditative mood and slow brainwaves, the study found.” To read more, visit Studying for Finals? Let Classical Music Help.

I found this 6 hour Classical Music playlist by DJ Ja Big on YouTube helpful:

Also, if you want help with test anxiety, try this Test Anxiety Hypnosis Session for College Students by Sheri Zampelli:

Stress Management: Groups and Music Achieve Results

Stress ManagementStress management has a lot to do with the ability to release and transform strong emotions. It is normal for people to have periods where they become angry, even rageful. People get sick, they get tired and sometimes it’s harder to maintain an even keel than others. When those moments arise and the blood begins to boil, we need solutions that are self-honoring not self-destructive. Many times violent outbursts, whether verbal or physical do relieve stress for the moment but when the tempers settle down all that’s left is a mess and many times everyone is farther away from resolution than they were in the beginning.

If you need some strategies for stress management consider taking a class with Sheri Zampelli at Long Beach City College titled HS45-Stress Management for Case Managers. In the class we learn about how thoughts can create anxiety and depression. We learn better methods of communicating with ourselves and others. Music is used throughout the class for stress reduction. Students create support groups as a way to continue working on stress management until it becomes an automatic habit.

The best way to learn something is to experience it which is why this group is hands on and interactive. A portion of class time will include lectures about how your thoughts contribute to anxiety and depression. The class time will also include participating in and leading a stress management group. This class is especially for human services students who will be working in a very stressful environment with difficult people and situations.

All throughout the semester we use music for relaxation and stress reduction. Toward the end of the semester we get into student presentations and students demonstrate what they know about stress reduction. Many find that creative, self-expressive outlets are natural stress reducers. They write songs, play instruments, dance and sing. They write poems and paint and we are lucky enough to experience it all as a group and learn from it.

Can’t make it to Long Beach City College? Stay posted as some of these classes will be available on-line in the future. For more information, subscribe to Sheri Zampelli’s Newsletter.

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Listening = Building Associations

The Master Mind principle is based on the idea that we all share one mind and as more people share a similar belief, the cultural consciousness shifts. One of the places you can hear the direct relationship of influence is music.

Most music today is inspired by music from the past. Not everyone who listens to music knows this but people who produce it usually do and they often have a reason for being influenced by a certain artist.

Stevie Wonder has been an incredible source of influence for many hip-hop and R & B artists. Today when I was at the gym the song Rocket Love (1980) came on.

Starting at about 1:21 in the song and throughout the song is a lyric “Cold Cold World”. This same lyric and sound is a song by Genius GZA released in 1996. Today when I heard Rocket Love, I also heard Cold World in my mind which made me think of how and maybe why I discovered this song to begin with.

Do people unconsciously make their current music choices based on influences from the past? Are musicians consciously or unconsciously shaping our culture with their message? Does listening to old music keep you stuck?

As a person who’s been heavily influenced by music I try to make my selections consciously and as a DJ I also have a conscious intention to build unity and a family vibe.

DJ Gal VanIZed EPIC Summer Night 2013

And yes, a group of people in a room listening to the same music, laughing and dancing at the same time is probably one of the most powerful Master Mind groups there can be. Whatever you say or play today, do it consciously, pay attention and play wisely. The words you share will undoubtedly impact the future.

Reminders are Everywhere for Listeners

The Spring 2013 semester was one of the most action packed, growing experiences I’ve had in my life for some time. It was filled with emotional ups and downs. A fellow instructor died just as the semester began, a student overdosed and never came back and Henry died from heart disease. Now, with summer around the corner I can unwind and also relish in some of the beautiful memories that happen each semester in Human Services classes.

“All” we do (ha ha) in Helping and Listening Skills class is learn how to listen…ideally to ourselves first and then to others. We learn that simply by listening the answer comes. This is very much in line with the Master Mind principle.

Luckily, the lessons from the class never end because you can always listen and you can get better at it with time.

Since this world provides an endless array of things to listen to, I’ve had to narrow my attention. I’ve decided that I am listening to students who are inspired and motivated because I figure, not only are they on the right track but the gratitude and feedback they give to me lets me know whether or not I’m on track. And sometimes, these students and this feedback can appear in the most unexpected places.

Like yesterday, when I went to Costco.

As I walked in the door, there was Willie, an incredibly supportive and strong student who seems to show up when I need him, even when he’s not enrolled in my class. One night, when two students were really going at it with me, he stood there, looked me in the eye, smiled and asked, “is everything alright?” I only have to think about Willie or see his face to know there are good people out there who will come to my aid if needed.

Temple Grandin on Costco Connection

As I walked out the door, I glanced to see a copy of the Costco Connection magazine. On the cover; Temple Grandin. This one magazine cover floods my mind with many good thoughts: Motivatorman, Savvy Soul Sisters and many conversations about how gifted children with unique minds can create solutions and answers that “normal” and “traditional” children can’t. I have often chastised myself for being outside the box. Temple Grandin’s story reminds me that ‘outside the box’ is where the answers are.

So, as my summer approaches, I will continue to listen and look forward to see what will transpire in the upcoming semester and all the time in between.

If the clutter of the world has made it impossible for you to listen or if your mind won’t stop racing, Meditate with Holosynch.

Look Beneath the Surface

I’m in the final weeks of the semester, teaching at Long Beach City College in the Human Services department. Over the past 12 years as an instructor I’ve come to embrace an interactive style. We are, afterall, serving humans so it seems logical to me that we should have some understanding of what humans feel, think and do and why.

In all of my classes there is an opportunity to hear the perspectives and stories of the people in the room and all I can say is that if you’ve decided to open the door and listen to people, you’d better be prepared to have your perception of reality blown on a minute to minute basis.

No matter how good you think you are at judging a book by it’s cover, one day in one class will prove to you that what you think you know about people is simply a reconfiguration of your past experiences and training. It has nothing to do with reality.

I’ll use one classroom as an example. It is filled with males and females, the age range is anywhere from 19-63, the skin color range is from light pink to pumpkin latte to caramel to espresso.

You would think we have a lot of “different” stories but in reality, the overlap is incredible. The details of stories about growing up, family and early school years are repeated over and over with only small changes in details, names, dates and places.

All stories include grief over a family member or life situation for reasons such as death, molestation, domestic violence, alcoholism, bullying, unemployment, divorce or time served in the military or prison. The feelings and reactions are very uniform overall. Most people will never realize this until they speak to someone who listens and listen to someone who speaks.

We talk about family dynamics and how some people who live in troubled homes become the scapegoat…the one the entire family blames their problems on.  Yet that same person can go to work or the military and be the one who is top notch and a hero. We also talked about how some social workers can dehumanize clients when they lump them in categories with stereotypes like “crack addict”, “foster youth” or “homeless.” 

We are doing our best to remove pre-existing stigma and stereotypes and see the whole person. The one beneath the surface of clothes, hair and skin; the one who’s hiding and in pain beneath the labels, the stories and the defenses.

I always stress to my students that you can’t tell anything about anyone until you sit and listen to their story and even before that, you have to earn their trust…which can take some time.

One example of how you can’t judge a book by it’s cover is Ted Williams, the man with the “God Given Gift of Voice”  Check it out here, it will blow your mind and it will give you a glimpse of what it would be like everyday if you just listened to a real live person without interrupting or judging them first.

Flowers for Mother’s Day

Flowers are a traditional gift on Mother’s Day. If you get a bouquet today, ponder the bundle of beauty that’s been given to you. Consider the invitation to bloom and grow into the unique variety that you ARE. Appreciate what you have done, the part you played in bringing joy, wisdom and creativity to this world. You matter and you are worth it.

Follow IamGalvanized’s board Gardens & Flowers on Pinterest.

Stay in the zone longer. Look at these flower photos on Pinterest and let your heart bloom with love.


Consider taking a photo of your flowers and saving them as a constant reminder. Post in the comments if you’d like.