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Music is good for you!

Music is good for you.jpg

I don't get to play guitar anywhere near as often as I'd like. (Yeah I know, I recently wrote a blog about practice habits and time management.) But, ensuring I spend quality time with my family while starting a new business makes time a rare commodity indeed.

However, I managed to make myself go play last weekend and I couldn't help but amaze at how GREAT it made me feel!! Seriously, it was amazing how playing my guitar (poorly), messing up riffs, playing off beat and out of tune made me feel awesome! What could be better than failing and feeling great!!

Recently I read an article about how playing music is one of the only activities that engages our entire brain. Something about using both hands engages both sides of the brain, and requires us to focus both our creative and analytical brains (and some other crazy mumbo jumbo). Of course, I can't find the article as I didn't save it. And if you search "playing music uses whole brain" Google returns 21M+ results!!

I did find a fun TEDEd video on our beloved YouTube:

How playing an instrument benefits your brain - Anita Collins

I looked for more 'scientific' evidence that this is true, and not just a music store selling something (no, not cynical!). Here's more great videos (WARNING: These videos prove I'm a geek at heart):

How Music Affects Your Brain

 Music and the Brain: Jessica Grahn at TEDxWesternU

 

 Does Music Change a Child's Brain? | John Iversen | TEDxSanDiego

 

 Your Brain on Music

 

When you watch these videos and read the articles (and learn how important music is to our brains and our well-being), it's amazing that it’s not a bigger social issue. How is something so beneficial, so obvious a method to feel better about ourselves and grow as a person, not an integral part of everyone's life?! Why are we not increasing educational arts funding to improve our children’s lives?!

My original intention was to write a simple blog on music and feeling better. But as I read articles and looked at research from the National Association of Music Merchandisers (NAMM) and other sources, I realized it's a topic worthy of much more than a simple blog!!

Here are the many reasons music is good for you

Cognitive Benefits

  • Listening to music helps us feel better, focus more, motivate ands calms us
  • Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level
  • Music is even being used as an anesthetic

Social Benefits

  • Making music together, children learn to work as a team while they each contribute to the song in their own way. It also helps children learn that together they can make something larger than the sum of its parts. (Who doesn't think the world needs more of this right now!!)

Proven Health Benefits

  • Reduces stress and anxiety
  • Decreases pain
  • May improve immune function
  • May aid memory
  • Helps us exercise

Educational Benefits

  • Learning music helps with cognitive skills, learning language, and more. Research tells us children who play music do better in school and in life.
  • Learning and playing music is critical to children's brain development! This is definitely a topic I will follow up on - especially ways to support Music Education and prevent Educational Arts funding cuts in our schools.

Work Benefits

  • Yes! Recreational Music Making (RMM) helps increase workplace productivity and happiness. You can use music for team building, focus, and more - all while on the job!
  • The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace. 
  • Much of this can be traced to the use of music on the battlefields centuries ago! Drums, bugles, and other instruments were used to communicate with troops during battle.

So you can see, music is integral to humans being happy, successful and socially adept. Wow!

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 motivate for someone to start playing or get lessons for their kids. You can change a life! Seriously.

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. Huh, who'd have thunk it?

We will have an announcement on our Kickstarter campaign soon!

Let's Kick It to Click It and Keep on Playing!

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