Play Music - Live Better
By Paula Taylor, Meadowood Music - Windsor Press, Northern Berks Merchandiser, Vol. 59, No. 5, P. 8, February 3, 2016
Learning to play music as a child helps us age more gracefully. The University of Kansas Medical Center gave cognitive tests to people aged 60 to 83. The study participants who played musical instruments as youngsters performed better. The researchers believe that playing music creates neural connections in the brain that, in later years, help slow cognitive decline.
You don’t have to start as a child to enjoy significant health benefits. Suzanne Hanser, chair of Boston’s Berklee College of Music’s music therapy department, said, "making music can lower blood pressure, decrease heart rate, reduce stress, and lessen anxiety and depression. There is also increasing evidence that making music enhances the immunological response, which enables us to fight viruses."
At Meadowood Music in Blandon, we see that playing music also has tremendous social and emotional benefits for people of all ages. People who play an instrument meet people and form lasting relationships. School bands, Praise & Worship bands, garage bands, jam sessions, open mics, amateur orchestras and festivals are places where people play music with others and learn cooperation, respect and humility. As they share music with others, people form bonds that are deep and meaningful.
The best part: anyone can begin to play music at any age and the benefits of playing music are available on any instrument in any musical style. At Meadowood, students who range in age from 4 to 86 learn harmonica, violin/fiddle, banjo, guitar, viola, bass, piano, dulcimer, cello, saxophone, clarinet, mandolin, ukulele... You can too!
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