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I-want-a-new-drug-music.jpgI Want a New Drug!

I recently read a phenomenal article, https://bebrainfit.com/music-brain/, and couldn’t help but share some of my takeaways from the article with you below. I encourage you to also read the original article; it’s long but it’s well worth it.

Music improves brain health and function in many ways. It makes you smarter, happier and more productive at any age. Listening is good, playing is even better.  - Deane Alban, writer, Be Brain Fit

SMASHmouse was created because I simply wanted to find an easier way to learn to play guitar. Like so many other people nowadays, I found that technology was an easy, affordable (i.e. free; although pay sites and most importantly instructors are well worth the investment in you) and fun way to learn. This journey has been amazing and I'm having a blast, even though I have an incredible mountain to climb to get to market (crowdfunding announcement coming soon), much less build a successful business. But I'm lucky to have this opportunity, and hopefully someday it will even allow me to play more.

What is Your Why?

For me, the WHY for SMASHmouse is to help others enjoy playing music by making it easier to use technology to learn, play, record and perform. (Not sure of your why? Check out this iconic Ted Talk from Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Sinek.jpg

I had no idea when I started learning to play guitar, just how much positive value it would have for me! Playing makes me happy, it helps me relax and calms my stressed brain. It relieves physical stress, it even takes the pains of my 48 year old body away. It puts me in a good mood to deal with life. It's a drug. That's right, a drug, and science is proving it.

Listening, but especially playing music, is proven to benefit you. So, hopefully, you will read this blog and learn something, but more importantly, it will inspire you to pick up an instrument and play! Don't have an instrument? Crank up your favorite song and play drums with your hands, pencils, anything - anywhere. Heck, stand up and do it for a little activity in your day as an added benefit.

Life is harder than ever. Work, family, health, and social interaction have long plagued humans and their mental and physical well-being. Now, science is proving Social Media and our smartphones are adding to the problem. That's another topic for another blog, but for example, this recent article alone lists 15 reasons smartphones are bad for you!! 

As a counter perspective, here are 20 benefits of music! 

Price of Addiction

Addiction costs this country BILLIONS of dollars in lost productivity, not to mention more importantly the lives of users, especially young ones. People are turning to drugs to escape, to ease the pain and are paying heavy prices.

Well, science is here to help with a new drug to help you feel better, be more productive and more! MUSIC!! That's right, recently science is proving that music is good for us. Good for our health: physical and mental, our spirit, our brain and, yes, our SOCIAL life. Studying the effects of music on the brain has even led to a new branch of research called neuromusicology  - the study of how the nervous system reacts to music.

brain-music.pngYour Brain on Music

Listening to music has profound value, but playing is even better! Just look at the big brain on musicians - researchers looked at professional musicians and the stats (compiled by bebrainfit.com) are impressive:

  •       Musicians have bigger, better connected, more sensitive brains. (3)
  •       Musicians have superior working memory, auditory skills, and cognitive flexibility. (4, 5)
  •       Their brains are noticeably more symmetrical and they respond more symmetrically when listening to music. (6)
  •       Areas of the brain responsible for motor control, auditory processing, and spatial coordination are larger. (7)
  •       Musicians also have a larger corpus callosum. (8) This is the band of nerve fibers that transfers information between the two hemispheres of the brain.
  •       This increase in size indicates that the two sides of musicians’ brain are better at communicating with each other.

Now if that doesn't inspire you to pick up an instrument, I don't know what will!! But not enough for you? Then how about these examples (compiled by bebrainfit.com) of music literally boosting brain chemicals. Yep, that's what drugs do.

  • Listening to music increases the neurotransmitter dopamine.
    • Dopamine is the brain’s “motivation molecule” and an integral part of the pleasure-reward system.
    • It’s the same brain chemical responsible for the feel-good states obtained from eating chocolate, orgasm, and runner’s high.
    • Interestingly, you can further increase dopamine by listening to a playlist that’s being shuffled.
    • When one of your favorite songs unexpectedly comes up, it triggers a small dopamine boost. (16)
  • Playing music with others or enjoying live music stimulates the brain hormone oxytocin. (17)
    • Oxytocin has been called the “trust molecule” and the “moral molecule” since it helps us bond with and trust others. (18)
    • There’s evidence that the oxytocin bump experienced by music lovers can make them more generous and trustworthy. (19)

WOW!! When I read all this, and hopefully when you read it, it amazes me just how powerful music is! In the BeBrainFit.com article, you will see there are even more amazing benefits to listening and especially playing music. Bottom line, music is a GOOD drug, so start dosing now!! Get ya some Dopamine and Oxytocin (NOT Oxycontin…).

Thank you for reading. Please like and share our blogs and posts. Better yet, please respond with your experiences! Share your story of how music makes you better, you may be the motivation for someone starting to play or getting their kids lessons. You can change a life!

My goal for SMASHmouse is to make it easier for people to learn to play by keeping their hands on their instrument while playing, learning, recording and performing. In essence, SMASHmouse is about improving people's lives. With your support, I will be blessed to accomplish our WHY.

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