Tag Archive for: Music

Celebrating World Day of Music: The Healing Power of Harmony

This Friday, June 21, 2024, marks the celebration of World Day of Music, a day dedicated to honoring the universal language that brings people together and transcends cultural boundaries.

As you might imagine, this is one of my favorite celebrations because it encourages musicians worldwide to perform in public spaces and share their talent with others. The initiative has grown to become a global phenomenon, celebrated in over 120 countries today, reflecting the profound impact music has on our lives.

Music is not just a form of entertainment; it is a powerful force that can positively influence our well-being. Numerous studies have highlighted the benefits of music on mental health, productivity, creativity, and overall life satisfaction — all of which can lead to more harmony each day.

World Day of Music 2024Music and Mental Health

Research consistently shows that music can be a powerful tool for reducing stress and anxiety. Did you know that listening to music can lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, and decrease stress hormone levels? This is especially relevant in today’s fast-paced world, where finding moments of calm is essential for maintaining mental health.

Listening to soothing music has been shown to reduce anxiety levels significantly. For instance, one study published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing reported that patients who listened to music before surgery experienced lower levels of anxiety compared to those who did not. Music therapy is also used as a complementary treatment for individuals suffering from chronic pain, depression, and PTSD, illustrating its profound therapeutic potential.

Enhancing Focus and Productivity

I like that in addition to its calming effects, music can boost focus and productivity. Instrumental music, in particular, has been found to improve concentration and cognitive performance. One study concluded that music engages areas of the brain involved with paying attention, making predictions, and updating events in memory.

Many professionals find that background music helps them stay focused and motivated during work or study sessions. For me, the rhythmic patterns and melodies can create an environment for deep work, allowing me to immerse myself in tasks and achieve better results.

Cultivating Creativity

My first band, Alibi, honed our craft in my parents’ basement. They were angels for lending us the room. We thought we were cooler than cool.
(Image Source: All the Right Reasons)

I started playing musical instruments when I was just 13 years old. (I even mowed lawns as a boy to pay back a loan for a cool drum set.)

Learning to play a musical instrument can greatly boost creativity and cognitive abilities. According to research published in the Journal of Neuroscience, musicians often display higher levels of creativity and problem-solving skills because learning to play music can be tough. The process of mastering an instrument involves continuous practice, patience, and innovation, all of which help strengthen brain power.

What’s more, those who participate in music programs tend to have better language development, higher IQ scores, and enhanced spatial-temporal skills, which are key for understanding math and science concepts.

Finding Harmony in Life

But the best thing about music for me is the harmony it brings. Music serves as a beautiful metaphor for achieving balance in various aspects of life. Just as different notes come together to create a pleasing melody, we have to strive to find harmony between work, relationships, hobbies, and personal health.

Balance is essential for improving productivity and well-being. Overworking without taking time to relax can lead to burnout. Neglecting personal relationships can result in loneliness. However, engaging in hobbies and activities that bring joy, such as playing music, can provide much-needed relief and contribute to a fulfilling life.

As we celebrate World Day of Music, let’s embrace the lessons music teaches us about harmony and balance. Whether we listen to our favorite songs, learn a new instrument, or simply appreciate the sounds around us, music has the power to enrich our lives in countless ways.

So take a moment to reflect on the role music plays in your life. Let it inspire you to seek balance, nurture your passions, and connect with others. Embrace music as a tool for personal growth and well-being, and allow its harmonies to guide you toward a more harmonious life.

Find Harmony in Your Life Through Music

During April, which is International Guitar Month, I urge you to find harmony in life through music.

As you know, I’m a lifelong musician. Guitars, the bass especially, hold a special place in my heart — and soul.

Studies show that people who live in harmony with core values are more productive and happier. This practice ultimately benefits themselves and those around them. Creating a harmonious environment with music brings better collaboration, a sense of belonging, and increased motivation.

As I write in my book, All the Right Reasons, living a life with harmony and music brings five key benefits:

  1. Reduced stress
  2. Improved mood
  3. Increased concentration
  4. Better sleep
  5. Enhanced creativity

By living each day in harmony, you can increase calmness and manage priorities better, which leads to higher productivity.

Seeking Harmony? Don’t Forget to Have Fun

At USANA, we live by four core values: Community, Excellence, Health, and Integrity. But fun is a fifth, informal value that I ask our employees to remember. Having fun and enjoying opportunities helps us to increase harmony in our lives, especially when tackling new challenges.

Speaking of new challenges, whenever I’m faced with one I remember my grandfather. His favorite mottos were: “You Gotta Fake It Till You Make It” and “Go, Baby, Go!” In life, we face setbacks that can terrify us and knock us to the ground. At those times, do we run or confront our fears?

When challenges arise, stand up, be strong, and meet your troubles head-on. I’ve found you can conquer just about anything if you just face it and follow Grandpa’s “Go, Baby Go!” advice.

Celebrate International Guitar Month

With the guitar as one of today’s most popular musical instruments, International Guitar Month is the perfect time to strike the chords and produce exquisite melodies.

Now is an excellent opportunity to learn to play the guitar. That effort will show the beauty of harmonies, which can stimulate the imaginative parts of the brain, leading to greater inspiration and innovation.

That can also enhance the ability to think abstractly and outside the box, which develops greater problem-solving skills.

I shared these thoughts in a news release that went out on April 3, 2023, to commemorate International Guitar Month. All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony, which is available on Amazon, uncovers 12 principles for living a life in harmony and drawing on the power of values to help find life’s success secrets. All proceeds feed hungry children, with each book purchase providing 40 meals.

7 Ways Music Can Positively Influence Your Life

Music is medicine for the soul, and this is the perfect time to celebrate music icons and the influence music has on us. Few things have the power to promote harmony, peace, and unity among people everywhere as does music.

Feb. 3 marks “The Day the Music Died.” It’s a day to celebrate the power of music and the icons that have influenced us. In doing so, here’s a list of 30 songs that mean a lot to me.

Music as a Positive Influence

7 Ways Music Can Lift You UpHere are seven ways music can positively influence people across the world.

1. Creates Positive Vibes

  • Playing music in the workplace can create a more positive atmosphere, which can help to improve morale and productivity.

2. Reduces Stress

  • Music has been shown to reduce stress levels and help people relax, which can lead to increased productivity. Sweden’s University of Gothenburg study found that listening to music helps lower levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

3. Improves Memory

  • Studies have also shown that music can improve memory and help people to remember tasks more easily.

4. Increases Focus

  • For many, music helps to increase focus and concentration, which brings improved productivity in the workplace.

5. Enhances Creativity

  • One of my favorite things about the power of music is that it can stimulate creativity and help people think outside the box, which generates more innovative solutions.

6. Boosts Motivation

  • Increased focus (see above) can also motivate people and encourage them to work harder and more effectively.

7. Promotes Teamwork

  • Tunes can also help to promote teamwork and encourage collaboration, leading to better results.

Additional Benefits

Moreover, music has the power to promote peace, break down barriers between people of different cultures, and be a powerful force for good in the world.

As I travel, I see that music is a universal language everyone can understand. For example, our Free Radicals band has played songs from the Beatles, Toto, Doobie Brothers, Boston, and more. It’s wonderful to see people singing, smiling, and dancing, whether we’re playing in Mexico, Europe, the United States, China, or Korea.

As many of you know, I gained a love for music from my parents, who bought a piano before they bought a car.

My dad returned from the war, married my mom, and bought a beautiful piano before buying a car because they valued music that much. In those early days of marriage without a car, my dad rode his bike to work and took my mom on the back of his bicycle on trips to the store.

Some people couldn’t understand it. My parents didn’t have a car, but they had a beautiful piano. Music was that important to them — essential, actually.

I shared these thoughts and more in a news release that went out on Feb. 1, 2023, in honor of The Day the Music Died, which is commemorated each Feb. 3. All the Right Reasons: 12 Timeless Principles for Living a Life in Harmony is available on Amazon. All proceeds feed hungry children, with each book purchase providing 40 meals.

The Power of Music: My Ultimate Playlist

Music, as you know, is medicine for my soul. I’m not sure where I would be without it. In honor of USANA’s 30th anniversary, which we’re celebrating in 2022, I provided a Top 30 list of many of my favorite songs.

Rich Shosted, part of USANA’s internal communications team, wrote the following article. It was originally published on USANAverse, USANA’s employee news source, and I’m delighted to share it here.

Music is Medicine For My Soul Email

Kevin Guest’s Ultimate Playlist

by Rich Shosted

Kevin Guest is up to his ears in music.

Though in all fairness, he always has been. The future USANA CEO grew up the youngest of five in Kalispell, an idyllic small town nestled in northwest Montana. His dad played in the local symphony, his mom was a pianist—and both nurtured a passion for melody in all their kids. “Music was always ringing throughout our house,” he says.

Over the years, Kevin picked up experience with multiple instruments—piano, drums, guitar—but ultimately, he gravitated toward his true love, the bass guitar. “The bass is the entire heartbeat of the musical experience,” he says.

And his fondness for harmony and plucking the low-pitched string instrument has led to a wealth of opportunity.

Kevin leveraged his passion to support his higher education and budding family. Throughout college—six nights a week—he made a living playing for a country band in venues across Wyoming, Idaho, and up and down the Salt Lake Valley. “I’ve played every bar on State Street [Salt Lake City],” he says.

In the early ’90s, Kevin landed a producer gig on Turn Up the Volume, a show that followed rock stars around documentary style. The madcap production gave Kevin the chance to tour with Poison, Bon Jovi, The Scorpions, and a slew of other notable rock bands.

He’s an unabashed fan of rock and roll, especially a certain history-making quartet. “My love for the Beatles goes as far back as I can remember,” Kevin says. And the superfan has been lucky enough to have met both Ringo Starr and Sir Paul McCartney. He’s seen the latter in concert on three separate occasions, too.

Subscribe to The Free Radicals channel on YouTube.

Music as Medicine for the Soul

These days our tireless leader plays the bass and provides vocals for The Free Radicals, a 12-strong musical ensemble that includes a few members connected to USANA—including Chief Sales Officer David Mulham, USANA Studios Project Manager Michael Rytting, and retired VP of Studios Shawn McLelland. The world-class band recently started a popular YouTube channel—their cover of Toto’s Rosanna has more than 500,000 views.

Kevin’s life—so far—is packed with an untold number of musical experiences he wouldn’t trade for the world. He’s had the pleasure of sharing the stage with the likes of Collin Raye, Kenny Loggins, Eddie Money, REO Speedwagon, and Belinda Carlisle. His talent and hard work even led to two performances at the Grand Ole Opry. “I’ve been so fortunate to either meet, work with, or play with almost every one of my music heroes,” he says.

But it’s much more than a hobby or a chance to meet his favorite artists. For Kevin, nothing is more important than relationships—and music plays a massive role. “Music is a universal language and a way to connect,” he says.

Music provides comfort, creates bonds, and builds comradery—and Kevin is sharing a piece (or 30 pieces rather) of his devotion with us.

In honor of USANA’s 30th anniversary, our CEO/resident rock and roller provided a list of his 30 favorite songs (below, in no particular order). “If you were to sit in my car with me, this is the music you’d hear,” he says.

Odds are one or two of these tracks will strike a chord with you. If they do, let us know which ones in the comments.

30 Songs to Honor 30 Years

“Let it Be”—The Beatles

“Let it Be” is really about being present—that there will be an answer and things will work themselves out. One of the things I struggle with is being present. I’m always worried about what might happen or what did happen versus just being in the moment—and this song helps me.

“The Dance”—Garth Brooks
“Don’t Stop Believin'”—Journey
“Love Remains”—Collin Raye
“Make This Day”—Zac Brown Band
“Take it Easy”—Eagles

When I think of the Eagles, I think of “team”—the group of people being stronger than the individuals. There are very talented individuals on the Eagles, but as a group they’ve achieved greater success. Applying that to our lives—working together versus trying to do it by ourselves—makes life much more beautiful and meaningful.

“Listen to the Music”—The Doobie Brothers
“Keep Pushin'”—REO Speedwagon
“Brand New Man”—Brooks & Dunn
“No End to This Road”—Restless Heart
“Your Song”—Elton John

Music is medicine for the soul, and this song is the perfect example.

“Ain’t No Time to be Afraid”—Little Texas
“Feelin’ Stronger Everyday”—Chicago
“Takin’ Care of Business”—Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO)
“Here Comes the Sun”—The Beatles
“Every Drop of Water”—Ricky Skaggs

The message in the song really resonates with me. It reminds me that everybody has value and worth and—like every drop of water shapes a stone—our experiences shape who we are, the good and the bad. And we need to take all those experiences as a blessing.

“Live This Life”—Big & Rich
“Ships of Heaven”—BlackHawk
“Teach Your Children”—Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
“Momma Don’t Forget to Pray for Me”—Diamond Rio
“Wind of Change”—The Scorpions

I sat in a room with Klaus Meine, the lead singer of the Scorpions, as he talked about this song. He said that at the time, he was inspired by the fall of communism in eastern Germany and the Soviet Union. For me, it’s about how we need peace in the world.

“Shower the People”—James Taylor
“Long Hard Road”—Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
“Show Me the Way”—Peter Frampton
“Something to Believe In”—Poison

One of the problems with the world today is that people don’t stand for anything and don’t believe in anything. They’re just kind of letting the tides of the world swallow them up. You need something to believe in. I’m not telling you what to believe—just believe in something.

“Dream Big”—Ryan Shupe & the RubberBand
“Live Like You Were Dying”—Tim McGraw
“Shooting Star”—Bad Company
“Hole In the World”—Eagles
“You’ve Got a Friend”—James Taylor

This one was written by Carole King, who in my opinion is probably one of the greatest American songwriters…ever. Just look at the diversity of hits she has and all the different artists who have recorded her music. I love the James Taylor version of this one and the message.

Top 30 from Kevin Guest

Music is Medicine for My Soul

Music is Medicine For My Soul Email

If it’s up to me, I’m never far from my bass guitar. It’s a constant, comforting presence that helps me find peace and harmony in my life. Music is medicine for my soul!

Recently, I had the opportunity to pick up that guitar and play music with country music superstar and close friend Collin Raye. It was a thrill to perform for 30,000 people at one of the nation’s premier Independence Day concerts!

As I’ve said many times, music is medicine for my soul. And that night, music gave me a healthy dose of happiness.

What is it in your life that provides you that burst of feel-goodness or a jolt of enthusiasm to live life to its fullest? I’d love to hear in the comments.

Performing on stage with Collin Raye as part of the Stadium of Fire concert on July 3, 2021.

Performing on stage with Collin Raye as part of the Stadium of Fire concert on July 3, 2021.

Collecting Memories

You might have seen this video on my social media recently. In it, I walk through a few items of music memorabilia that mean a lot to me.

Achieving Harmony Through Music

For the most-recent World Music Day, which falls on June 21 each year, I shared a few thoughts on how music has the power to bring people together, transcend borders, and break barriers. In a workplace environment, I believe music can lift moods and unify teams.

There’s nothing like live music to lift spirits, and when you are part of making music, it can boost your positive temperament even more. When you’re doing that with team members, I’ve seen it help people find common ground and form instant bonds.

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