Let’s tweak an old adage and make it new: The family that listens to music together, stays together.
That may very well sum up the study conducted by Sonos, a wireless speaker company that has recently teamed up with Apple Music to stream its music on its devices.
On the face of it, this is a promotion-oriented study, timed perfectly with the launch of a brand-new service, but the actual results of the study — not to mention its subject matter — are quite compelling.
The basics first.
Sonos conducted a field study of 30 homes spread over eight countries, providing each participating household member with an Apple Watch, iBeacon, and iPhone 6. The devices tracked the various physiological processes in the participants’ bodies, along with the participants’ precise location in their homes.
The study took place for two weeks, from January 13 to January 29. In the first week, the participants were asked not to listen to any music out loud. In the second week, they were asked to listen to music out loud, for as long as they wanted (each household was provided with a wireless speaker to do all their music listening on).
The data collected through the devices in these two weeks was analysed by Daniel J. Levitin, a neuroscientist, musician, and bestselling author.
Here are seven essential findings of this study, good reasons for anybody to come out of their introverted listening habits and enjoy music socially, with their family around, at full blast.
1. More Together Time.
Three hours and 13 minutes: Extra time per week that people spent together when they listened to music out loud.
Four hours and 30 minutes: Extra time per week that people in the U.S. spent together when they listened to music out loud.
2. Distance Reduced.
Listening to music out loud reduces the actual physical distance between family members (insight courtesy in-house location tracking)
Household members participating in the field study got 12 percent closer in proximity to one another when they turned the music on.
“It’s not just that people who feel closer to one another tend to listen to more music,” said Levitin. “For the first time, we’re seeing evidence that the music causes people to feel closer to one another.”
3. More Intimacy.
Bluntly put, more sex.
Couples who played music out loud in the home had 66 percent more sex than couples who didn’t.
4. More Laughter, Happiness.
Not surprisingly, people laughed more and were happier when they listened to music out loud.
Homes that play the most music out loud are 15 percent more likely to laugh together.
5. The Urge To Dance.
The most natural outcome of playing music out loud.
Parents who listen to music out loud the most were 186 percent more likely to have had a dance party compared to those who don’t listen to music out loud.
“In watching the in-home video feeds, I was struck by the amount of spontaneous, un-selfconscious dancing going on,” said Levitin. “I saw families all across the world experiencing the same unrestrained joy my sister and I did as kids.”
6. Food Turns Tastier.
A surprising find. Such a connection between music and food was perhaps never made before.
Fifty-eight percent say listening to music while cooking makes the food taste better.
Levitin suggests that listening to their favorite music while cooking may be making people more creative with their recipes.
7. Activation Of Novelty Detectors.
Listening to music with other family members implies experiencing music that you may not normally listen to. And according to Levitin, this is a good thing.
“Most of us like a certain amount of novelty … Listening to new music activates the novelty detectors in our brains, and modulates levels of dopamine, the feel-good neurotransmitter/hormone in the brain, that serves as a reward.”
It would be interesting to test out the might of these “novelty detectors” in certain specific situations. Imagine a classical-music-loving grandpa trying to wrap his head around a modern rap song being streamed loudly by his grandson. And vice versa.
To end, here’s a video of the “Music Makes It Home” study.
[Image via Shutterstock]