If there’s one thing that can kill a facility tour, it’s a “black hole.” You know them well: those large areas of your facility that, when unoccupied, silently suck your budget into the operating-costs abyss. Silent tennis courts, empty swimming pools and, yes, even vacant group fitness studios fall into this category. And at the center of the group fitness black hole (well, usually in a corner or a closet) is a black box: the audio system.
On May 17, the Australian Copyright Tribunal voted to increase rates paid by fitness facilities for licensed music used in fitness classes. The new fee structure requires facilities to pay $15 (AUS) per class, or $1 (AUS) per participant ($0.866 [U.S.] at time of reporting); previously, gyms paid $0.97 (AUS) per class. The request was filed by the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA), a nonprofit organization that provides nonexclusive licenses for protection of sound recordings and music videos.
When you teach group fitness classes, music is probably the most important “equipment” you work with. Appropriate music speed is a key ingredient in both motivation levels and exercise safety. Having an arsenal of premixed, measured and timed music is a convenient and popular way to prepare for class. Music technology has come a long way; fitness CDs, MP3s and music management software help us gather all the information we need.
Mattel Children’s Hospital UCLA in Los Angeles, California, is using a mobile Music Rx® unit donated by the Children’s Cancer Association [CCA] as part of a nationwide expansion of a music therapy program developed for pediatric patients. The mobile unit contains instruments, Apple GarageBand software for recording music, an iPod docking station and an LCD screen that plays music videos. Music therapy is used to ease pain, improve mood, calm fears, facilitate relaxation and make the hospital feel more like home.
Mind-body movement professionals should consider the impact that music can have on their programs. According to a new study published in Circulation (2009; 119 , 3171–80), loud music increases heart rate and blood pressure, while soft music lowers both, independent of subjective musical preferences. This study adds to the growing body
of research documenting the effects of music on mood and physiology.
Music that makes you happy also benefits your cardiovascular system. That encouraging finding emerged from a small study presented in November 2008 at the Scientific Sessions of the American Heart Association in New Orleans.
music in Australia may become a luxury. A press release from the International
Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) reports that clubs playing
music in group exercise classes could face more than a 3,000% increase in
Currently, fitness facilities
pay a per-class fee of $0.99 in Australian dollars...