Music has charms to soothe a savage heart … or really get it pumping, school board hears

A lesson on the effects of different types of music on a person’s heart rate and blood pressure was delivered to School District of Mystery Lake trustees by a pair of Grade 7 students at the June 12 school board meeting.

École Riverside School student Samara Green and Anaya Permanand, who had one of the best overall projects at the Northern Manitoba regional science fair hosted at their school in April and got to compete at the national science fair in Ottawa as a result, explained a bit about their project’s process and findings as well as their experience on the national stage to the school board.

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“We had the participants get relaxed,” Green explained. “We let them rest for about two to three minutes and we put on the blood pressure machine. We charted down the results as their resting time and then after that we waited a minute to make sure they were still relaxed and we played a minute of each song.”

Our results showed that music did affect your heart rate and blood pressure,” said Permanand. “For children it increased with metal and decreased with nature [music]. The female aged 28 increased with pop music and decreased with nature.”

“And the male aged 28 increased with metal and decreased with nature,” said Green.

Competing in Ottawa also opened their eyes to new possibilities.

“We didn’t know that we could work with doctors and stuff and they were all like commercializing theirs,” Green said of their competitors. “We were like, ‘Whoa, that’s really cool.’ We didn’t commercialize ours. We didn’t know what to do with it and so for next year we decided that we’re going to do something that we cold work with but we’re not going to say.”

“I just want to commend you girls for doing such a fantastic job,” said SDML co-superintendent Angele Bartlett., noting that they were competing against a lot of students from larger cities with more access to resources to inform their research.

“These girls who are in the science fair … if they find a cure for cancer in 10 years that wouldn’t shock me at all because that’s where they got their start,” said trustee Janet Brady, attending her second-last school board meeting before her resignation June 30. “That’s how it is. You just work your way up and you get to that spark when you’re in school and then you just run with it.”

The school board's last meeting before summer vacation is June 26 at 7 p.m. at the school board office on Thompson Drive.

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