Playing an instrument or listening to music has numerous benefits for our health. Music has the power to influence our mood, reduce stress and anxiety, enhance cognitive function, and even improve physical health.
Music Can Improve Your Mood and Focus.
Music has a profound impact on our emotions and can have a significant effect on our mental state. Listening to music that is happy, upbeat and energetic can help to lift our spirits and reduce stress and anxiety levels.
Music can also have a positive impact on cognitive function, such as memory and focus. Studies have shown that playing an instrument, even at a beginner level, can improve memory and executive function, as well as increasing brain plasticity. John Dan PhD, Chair of Neuroscience at Perelman School of Medicine says, “it engages every major part of the central nervous system. For example, playing the violin uses the peripheral nervous system, which controls movement of your fingers, as well as gross and fine motor skills. The brain’s executive function – which plans and makes decisions – comes into play as a musician plays one part but keeps focus on what’s coming next. Couple that with the total sensory input all at the same time (visual, auditory, emotional) and playing a song becomes a total “workout” for the brain.”
Music Can Reduce Stress.
Research has shown that listening to relaxing music before bed or during periods of stress can help to reduce cortisol levels, a hormone associated with stress and weight gain. Additionally, playing an instrument can help to reduce anxiety by bringing our minds into the present moment instead of focusing on our worries.
A 2020 study, found that 57% of Americans use music as a form of stress reduction, compared to just 40% who find exercise helpful, so the stress-relieving benefits of music are definitely no secret.
Music Can Improve Your Physical Health.
Music can have a positive impact on physical health, particularly in the areas of pain management, sleep quality, and cardiovascular health. Listening to relaxing music before bed can help to improve sleep quality, which is important for optimum healing of injuries, and for muscle growth. Listening to up-tempo music (especially while exercising) has been shown to increase heart rate and blood flow, improving cardiovascular health and our motivation levels.
Many of us enjoy dancing to music at clubs or social events, and even more of us enjoy adding music to our jogging, weight training, or Pilates workouts, so it’s incredibly easy to reap the physical benefits of music.
Music Can Help someone with Alzheimer’s Disease.
Individuals living with Alzheimer’s or other kinds of memory loss can find a sense of familiarity and comfort in music. The musical part of the brain is barely affected by the disease, so even those who struggle to remember names and faces of their loved ones can still enjoy singing along to their favorite songs.
Music therapy sessions are popular for those living with memory loss. These usually involve a fun and relaxed environment, singing, playing, or clapping along with the therapist either in a personal session or in a group. They provide an opportunity for social interaction and emotional expression, helping to reduce feelings of isolation and depression.
It’s Time to Start Your Benefits.
So, playing an instrument and listening to music both have numerous health benefits that range from improving mood, reducing stress, enhancing cognitive function, to promoting physical health. Children are a great example of living a carefree life as they naturally enjoy music, singing songs, and dancing. Incorporating music into your daily life, whether it be through picking up an instrument or simply listening to music in your day-to-day activities, can help to improve overall well-being, a youthful mindset, and quality of life.
Studio 237 Music Lessons teachers are ready to help you discover, develop, and demonstrate music. Call Ray or Lisa Cyr at 850.231.3199, visit the website www.Studio237Music.com, gmail Studio237Music@gmail.com.