What is it about music that touches our soul, evokes emotions from happiness to sadness, gets us toe-tapping and exhilarated? We asked three people who share their thoughts on why you should make music a part of your life no matter what your age. Here are their responses.
6 Awesome Benefits of Playing Music by Vincent Hill
How nice it is to listen to music. Any beat, any genre, can give you a great feeling and bring joy to your life. Other than the usual advantages that listening to music can provide, there are other benefits that you might not know. These rewards especially come when you actually play an instrument and create the music yourself.
Here are 6 reasons why you might consider learning to play an instrument, no matter what your age:
1. Helps in increasing concentration
You can improve the strength of your brain by playing different musical instruments. As you play any instrument, you will find yourself focusing and concentrating as you practice. As you learn different pieces, you will be fine tuning your ability to concentrate. This may help you with other activities in your life.
2. Generates a sense of achievement
As you play a musical instrument, the achievement that you feel after learning a piece of music is enormously satisfying.
3. Strengthens respiratory system
Wind instruments, like flute, trumpet etc., can help improve your respiratory system. The regular use of your lungs to play these instruments can help strengthen your respiratory system.
4. Sharpens your memory
As you play any musical instrument, your brain works hard memorizing notes, keeping to the beat and following the tempo. All of this helps you sharpen your memory.
Memorizing the notes to complete a music piece helps you sharpen your memory even more.
5. Enhances your social skills
Playing an instrument is a great way to become more social. You can play with others who play the same instrument or as part of a group. Or, you can play in front of an audience.
It’s said that people who play different music instruments, tend to be highly sociable. Playing in front of an audience, large or small, helps build your confidence and ability to communicate with others.
6. Promotes happiness around you
Listening to good music is relaxing and good food for the soul. When you play an instrument for others, you are sharing this happiness
If you have never played, or put an instrument aside a long time ago, why not try to play. Music can be your best escape to this very busy life.
Vincent Hill is a person who loves music and dance. He keeps himself updated about the recent music and dance trends and likes sharing his views through writing. He is currently working with Music Scanner.
Why it’s never too late to play music & WHY it’s important by Vincent James
Playing music as we get older definitely plays an important part in staying healthy. Whether we’re playing guitar, piano, accordion or almost any instrument, the mind and muscle coordination required helps keep our brains active which spills over into other areas of our life.
The old saying is “a body in motion tends to stay in motion” and I say that’s true for our minds as well. Learning (or continuing) to play an instrument in our mid-life helps keep our minds active and the focus we gain (not to mention the joy) will benefit us in our workplaces and in our family interactions.
There is also the therapeutic benefits of playing music at any age but especially as we age. As adults, we often have so many responsibilities we are handling at any given time. Playing music is a relatively inexpensive escape that takes us away from everyday life for a little while.
If you’re just starting out playing an instrument as an adult, it can seem like a challenge but if you stick with it your confidence and ability will grow. Before too long you’ll be amazed at what you can play.
My one guitar student didn’t pick up the guitar until he was 80 years young.
When I meet people in their 40s and 50s who tell me they always wish they had played an instrument, I whole heartedly encourage them to carve out a little time in their busy lives to start.
The upcoming “Teach Music America” Week, March 20 through 26, is a perfect opportunity for adults to reach out to local music schools and sign up for a complimentary intro lesson.
Even beyond that week, there are many music schools that will make this free offer or something similar so new students can start to get a glimpse of how they can pretty quickly be learning to play an instrument. Who knows, they may eventually start to hit the stage at open mics and coffeehouses where they’ll experience a brand new high that happens when playing music for an audience.
Vincent James is the founder of Keep Music Alive which is celebrating the 3rd Annual “Teach Music America Week” from Monday March 20th to Sunday March 26th, 2017 and has a participation of over 500 music schools around the United States.
The Importance of Music Therapy by Apryl Allen
Being a musician, I’ve always turned to music during difficult periods throughout my life. So, it was only natural for me, when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, to incorporate it within my healing process.
Being Native American, a Medicine Man recommended I name my cancer. He suggested I talk to it, sing to it and when it came time for surgery, tell it to leave my body and never return.
It was a fantastic visualization for me and I quickly incorporated it into my healing process. There were many unexpected and unanticipated benefits:
• Alleviated anxiety prior to and during difficult appointments, especially surgery
• Helped me sleep at night
• If I was frustrated, I’d listen to songs with lyrics that expressed my feelings. In doing so, it had a way of easing my fear of the unknown
• Sometimes I sang to the cancerous nodule as if it were a person or an illicit lover (Erased by Anne Lennox)
• Often, I’d turn to my Native Flute for comfort. Composing new materials reassured me I had a future
• The flutes tonal qualities transported me to a meditative place, in turn providing balance
Interesting fact: Prior to surgery I set time aside to say goodbye to the cancerous nodule—most importantly telling it to leave and never return. I sang, played the native flute, lit white sage, cedar and sweet grass. Afterwards, I sat quietly surrendering my mind to the stillness of life. I can only describe what I felt was similar to a muscle twitch. It happened four times at the exact location where the cancerous nodule was in my left breast.
Significant lifestyle changes that will help create an effective healing strategy
Other than music, I realized relying heavily upon my intuition during a period of the unknown is paramount to healing. I might add, after this experience I’m still learning. Most interesting, during this period, I visited the Hippocratic Oath which I found favors prevention to a cure. But how can we practice prevention when we don’t know the exact cause of cancer? That’s when the four elements came to mind.
Tapping into the elements—earth, wind, fire and water—are a vital part of health and the healing process.
• Earth: Deficiencies in Vitamin D is found to be a common factor of many diseases. Turns out its nothing for your doctor to run an annual test on your Vitamin D level during your annual exam (mine was extremely low at the time of my diagnosis).
Further, we’re all are focused on what vitamins we should be taking however, we’ve forgotten about minerals. Both play their role in prevention.
• Wind: Movement is a key factor in prevention and I’m not just speaking about exercise. Contemplate your lymphatic system which is often ignored. It’s imperative we incorporate a weekly lymphatic massage to keep this system working at its optimum capacity.
• Fire: In today’s world, we’re conditioned to ignore our feelings—especially anger. But I’m here to say it’s okay to have feelings. Allow yourself to go there; be open to them. I don’t consider myself an angry person, but suppressing this particular feeling can cause undue stress. Allow yourself to release it—EXPLODE!!! Allow your loved ones to do the same. This is where forgiveness comes into play, no one is perfect . . . allow yourself to feel.
• Water: Hydration is a fundamental component to both health and healing. Alkaline water is a good source for providing minerals too (see Earth above)
Apryl Allen is an award-winning musician, singer, songwriter, playwright, and a former Miss Arizona-USA. Allen is also a member of the Comanche Nation and is actively involved in efforts to preserve her tribe’s dying language and stories handed down. She is the author of A Tango with Cancer, published by Oray Publishing, 2016, paperback