The Sync Project: Are Music and Health Connected?

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Have you ever listened to music to get you pumped up for a workout? Or maybe to soothe you to sleep after a long day? Do you have a favorite song that always puts a smile on your face?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may agree that it’s possible music has a direct effect on your mood. The Sync Project aims to take that hypothesis a step further and see if there’s a legitimate, measurable link between music and your physical health.

The start

The Sync Project was founded by Alexis Kopikis and Ketki Karanam and introduced in March 2015. It combines multiple fields to study the correlation between music and health. With a diverse team of highly skilled experts, The Sync Project merges science, music, technology and physical studies to determine music’s potential to augment our health practices.

The purpose

The Sync Project hopes to explore a wide realm of possibilities from everyday routines to serious illnesses.

The team wants to know if there’s a particular song ideal for different scenarios:

  • Working out
  • Cooling down after a workout
  • Falling asleep
  • Slowing your heart rate
  • Physical therapy/muscle rehabilitation

These are just a few of the correlations between music and biometrics that the project has started to explore.

The Sync Project team is also hoping to help patients with severe illnesses. So far, there are a few long-term conditions that show improvement with music – Autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.

  • Autism: Co-founder Alexis Kopikis’s son has Autism and Fragile X Syndrome and was his father’s inspiration for The Sync Project. The team has learned that music can help patients with Autism better socialize with their environment and the people around them.
  • Parkinson’s: As a disease that affects the central nervous system, patients with Parkinson’s often struggle with general mobility. Listening to music with a basic, metronomic beat can help people suffering from Parkinson’s with their walking by providing a steady beat to follow.
  • Alzheimer’s: Music has shown to help stimulate the struggling minds of people with this degenerative neurological condition.

The process

The Sync Project links music apps with fitness wearables to study the effects of music on the body.

Music apps – like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes – can track your song preferences and when you listened to a certain song. Fitness wearables – like FitBits, Apple Watches or Jawbones – track biometric data such as heart rate, body temperature, even mental focus.

The data collected from each of these combined can track the body’s response to music and help determine ways to use it to improve overall health.

The results

The Sync Project is still new, but there’s already data the team is starting to learn from. However, further testing is needed before conclusions can be formed. There are many variables to account for as each patient has a different biological makeup and psychological personality that determines their personal affinity for music and their body’s needs for different activities.

Anyone can reach out to The Sync Project team. Whether you’re interested in conducting a study or creating an app or just using the technology, The Sync Project’s doors are open to anyone who expresses interest.


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About Author

Claire

Claire earned her English degree from Dickinson College in May 2014 and has been writing web content since then. She is an expert on our Internet team. Her other interests include traveling, playing sports and walking her dogs. Although she grew up in Charlotte, NC, Claire has lived in Singapore and Spain and is fluent in Spanish.

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