Even though music might be regarded as something frivolous, it has long been an intrinsic part of human culture. Starting from the time we are young children, some would even say within the womb, music has many benefits for our well-being. And there's increasing research showing the many benefits of having music in our lives.
How music benefits children: Advocates of music in schools have collected research showing that music and playing musical instruments helps children's language development, memory, physical co-ordination, imagination, creativity, teamwork and self-confidence. It has also been said that playing music improves math skills, but on this point, research is inconclusive.
Music helps your brain: Playing a musical instrument has many beneficial effects, not just for children but for adults too: verbal memory, spacial reasoning, faster neural responses, and literacy skills are all enhanced by learning music. It has also been shown that music is helpful for people with Parkinson's and those recovering from strokes.
How music benefits seniors: Music training is considered a possible effective way to protect brain function from cognitive decline but more research is needed. Other studies have shown that people even with severe Alzheimer's Disease "are able to learn and play novel songs".
In First Nations and Indigenous communities, drumming has also been linked to health: "Results of the qualitative analysis show that the Aboriginal women’s involvement in hand-drumming circles has many health promoting benefits and builds on strengths already existent within their community."
Music makes people of all ages happy, gives them relief if they are burdened by stress or sadness, and provides skills and accomplishments when learning to play a musical instrument. In short, music boosts health and well-being. Music is medicine, just not the kind that comes from the pharmacy.
Here's a video that summarizes what's going on in your brain when you listen to music:
National Association for Music Education 2014
National Association for the Education of Young Children 2012 (PDF):
Research paper "Music as a Memory Enhancer in Patients with Alzheimer's Disease"
Interested in learning more?
This is Your Brain On Music (book by Daniel Levitin )
Brainpickings 2015 (article)
The Guardian 2016 (article)
My Help Book was featured in the Peninsula News Review (Friday December 13th 2013) in their Seniors in Focus section. The Review serves the 70,000 residents of the Saanich Peninsula on Southern Vancouver Island (BC Canada) and has been publishing since December 13th 1912.
Ask for My Help Book at the front counter of Tanner's Books (located at the corner of Fourth and Beacon in Sidney. It can also be purchased at other locations or you can purchase direct from the publisher.
Thank you to Salvador Davis & Co for sponsoring and donating 40 copies of My Help Book 2014 to the Shoal Centre in Sidney BC. Since 1968 Salvador Davis & Co have served Sidney, the Saanich Peninsula, and the Gulf Islands in matters of Real Estate, Powers of Attorney, Wills, Health Care Directives, & Representation Agreements. They also serve Salt Spring Island by appointment. For three years in a row they won 1st place in the Peninsula's Reader's Choice Award for Financial and Legal Services. On their website you can also find information and links regarding 2011 changes to BC's Adult Guardianship Laws.
Contact Salvador Davis & Company:
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See their website for full contact information.
The Shoal Centre (10030 Resthaven Drive Sidney BC) provides many services and recreation opportunities to the local community. They have assisted living, volunteer services including volunteer drivers, food services (lunch, dinner and catering), youth employment services, as well as many activities, special events, recreation and learning opportunities. Contact them for facility rental options and catering for your event.
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