Dr. Barry Bittman is in charge of clinical and laboratory studies for the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute. Research from the Yamaha Institute indicates that "recreational music making" enhances natural killer cell activity and lowers the effects of stress. This stress reduction is seen in cells at the molecular level. Music may also lower blood pressure and heighten mood, and possibly even offer protection from diseases like heart disease and cancer.
"At Yamaha, we define recreational music making as music-based activities that unite people of all ages and musical experience. These activities provide exercise, social support, bonding, spirituality, intellectual stimulation, an ability to cope with life’s challenges – it is creative expression that unites body, mind and spirit."
A study on drumming demonstrated an increased immune response. In another study on the Clavinova (Yamaha Institute's digital piano) researchers saw its subjects becoming more attentive, and interacting more with each other. They seemed ... happier.
Dr. Bittman believes that the Yahama Institute have seen significant reduction of the effects of stress at the DNA level from recreational music making. Research is being done on the effects of recreational music making on cardiovascular disease at the molecular level.