Blow Away the Blues!

To combat the natural signs of aging, our health providers recommend a nutritious diet, plenty of rest, regular exercise and social interaction.

It’s a well-known fact that our cognition, too, may be somewhat compromised and this may lead to loss of co-ordination, eyesight, hearing and memory.

Scientific research has linked the process of learning to play a musical instrument to real-time stimulation of specific areas in the brain.

Here are some results of extensive studies showing how playing an instrument helps to stimulate our body into producing a hormone that plays an essential role in slowing the aging process. This not only helps to keep a sharp memory, but can have positive impacts on preventing diseases such as Alzheimer’s, as well as fending off some forms of dementia.

Improves Performance on Cognitive Tasks – in people over the age of 65, after 4 months of playing a musical instrument for an hour a week, there were strong changes in the brain, especially in the parts that control hearing, memory and hand activity. The effects are long-lasting too, resulting in better performance in tests of word recall and nonverbal memory.

Refines your Time Management and Organisational Skills – to progress quickly in the learning process, you will learn to use your time efficiently and plan different challenges to work on. This continuing improvement results in greater motivation.

Enhanced Co-ordination – learning to play an instrument means that the parts of your brain that control motor skills actually grow and become more active, and your hand-eye co-ordination is improved.

Fosters Self-Expression – as your skill level improves, so the opportunity to play a wider range of music, and the ability to use music as an outlet for your emotions. Playing an instrument will not only help you to relax, but can help build confidence and give you a sense of achievement. Music can also provide a sense of independence and individuality which, in turn, contributes to one’s own self-discovery and sense of identity.

Provides Tangible Health Benefits – it’s no secret that playing music acts as a form of therapy, having calming effects on the mind and body. In particular, this has a positive impact by reducing blood pressure levels and is beneficial in stabilising mood disorders and alleviating depression. The exercise of playing an instrument actually helps to release endorphins in your body, the ‘feel good’ hormones which result in reduced levels of stress.

Once you’ve decided to enrich your life with music, the next decision is which instrument to choose. For sheer practicality and ease of use, you can’t go past a recorder with which to start your musical adventure. It requires minimal financial outlay, lends itself to many different styles of music, is lightweight and packs easily into a bag when travelling.

Now for your tuition. Conservatorium-trained musician Katy Joscelyne is a Glenorie local who specialises in teaching recorder to students aged 60+. With the help of step-by-step books and CDs, Katy will gently guide you through the initial steps of learning notes and familiarising yourself with the language and mysteries of written music. It won’t be long before you’ll be heading down a new pathway of enjoyment and self-fulfilment.

Contact Katy on 0497 202 020 to discuss tuition options (either private classes, or bring a friend to learn with you).

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