Can Kenny G's Music Help Alleviate Stress?

Legendary saxophonist Kenny G releases his thirteenth studio album, "Heart & Soul," featuring R&B artists Robin Thicke and Babyface (Kenneth Edmonds).
CBSNews.com

(CBS) For many New Yorkers commuting is a dreaded fact of life, made worse by a record heat wave in the city, but what if there was a way to make rush hour more tolerable?

The Chinese just might have a solution - playing saxophonist Kenny G's hit song, "Going Home" at the end of the business day.

In Tianjin and Shanghai, where the long-haired instrumentalist is adored by all ages, "Going Home" is played at closing time at public places, in evening rush hour on mass transit and even at dismissal in some schools.

"'Going Home' is a very, very popular song in China," Kenny G told CBS News.com. "Everybody knows that song. They play it on the mass transit; they play it at every department store when it's closing time. When I am in China, I hear that song on loud speakers. I have heard it in Tiananmen Square. It's crazy; it's part of their lives."

China just might be onto something. According to WebMD, research is beginning to reveal how music works to heal the body and mind.

Music therapy, which involves listening to music, making music, or both, can help reduce your heart rate and blood pressure and increase your ability to think, learn, reason, and remember.

Commuters can take their stress level down a notch by aligning their heartbeat with the slow tempo of a relaxing song, especially a classical tune - one of Kenny G's, for that matter.

"Research shows that listening to 30 minutes of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to taking 10 mg of Valium," WebMD reports.

So can Kenny G's music do the trick for Americans as well?

"Well you never know music can do a lot of great things..." Kenny G said with a laugh.

The multi-platinum selling, Grammy-winning recording artist, who has recorded some Chinese songs, such as "Jasmine Flower," recently released his 13th studio album, "Heart & Soul," featuring R&B singers Robin Thicke and "Babyface" (Kenneth Edmonds).

Watch Kenny G talk about his upcoming album and how technology has changed the music industry:

  • Melissa Castellanos

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