Musical Resources
Put A Little Music In Your Heart

keep music in your life

What is it about music that touches our soul, evokes emotions from happiness to sadness, gets us toe-tapping and exhilarated? We asked three people who share their thoughts on why you should make music a part of your life no matter what your age. Here are their responses.

6 Awesome Benefits of Playing Music by Vincent Hill

How nice it is to listen to music. Any beat, any genre, can give you a great feeling and bring joy to your life. Other than the usual advantages that listening to music can provide, there are other benefits that you might not know. These rewards especially come when you actually play an instrument and create the music yourself.

Here are 6 reasons why you might consider learning to play an instrument, no matter what your age:

1. Helps in increasing concentration

You can improve the strength of your brain by playing different musical instruments. As you play any instrument, you will find yourself focusing and concentrating as you practice. As you learn different pieces, you will be fine tuning your ability to concentrate. This may help you with other activities in your life.

2. Generates a sense of achievement

As you play a musical instrument, the achievement that you feel after learning a piece of music is enormously satisfying.

3. Strengthens respiratory system

Wind instruments, like flute, trumpet etc., can help improve your respiratory system. The regular use of your lungs to play these instruments can help strengthen your respiratory system.

4. Sharpens your memory

As you play any musical instrument, your brain works hard memorizing notes, keeping to the beat and following the tempo. All of this helps you sharpen your memory.

Memorizing the notes to complete a music piece helps you sharpen your memory even more.

5. Enhances your social skills

Playing an instrument is a great way to become more social. You can play with others who play the same instrument or as part of a group. Or, you can play in front of an audience.
It’s said that people who play different music instruments, tend to be highly sociable. Playing in front of an audience, large or small, helps build your confidence and ability to communicate with others.

6. Promotes happiness around you

Listening to good music is relaxing and good food for the soul. When you play an instrument for others, you are sharing this happiness

If you have never played, or put an instrument aside a long time ago, why not try to play. Music can be your best escape to this very busy life.

Vincent Hill is a person who loves music and dance. He keeps himself updated about the recent music and dance trends and likes sharing his views through writing. He is currently working with Music Scanner.

Why it’s never too late to play music & WHY it’s important by Vincent James

Playing music as we get older definitely plays an important part in staying healthy. Whether we’re playing guitar, piano, accordion or almost any instrument, the mind and muscle coordination required helps keep our brains active which spills over into other areas of our life.

The old saying is “a body in motion tends to stay in motion” and I say that’s true for our minds as well. Learning (or continuing) to play an instrument in our mid-life helps keep our minds active and the focus we gain (not to mention the joy) will benefit us in our workplaces and in our family interactions.

There is also the therapeutic benefits of playing music at any age but especially as we age. As adults, we often have so many responsibilities we are handling at any given time. Playing music is a relatively inexpensive escape that takes us away from everyday life for a little while.

If you’re just starting out playing an instrument as an adult, it can seem like a challenge but if you stick with it your confidence and ability will grow. Before too long you’ll be amazed at what you can play.

My one guitar student didn’t pick up the guitar until he was 80 years young.

When I meet people in their 40s and 50s who tell me they always wish they had played an instrument, I whole heartedly encourage them to carve out a little time in their busy lives to start.

The upcoming “Teach Music America” Week, March 20 through 26, is a perfect opportunity for adults to reach out to local music schools and sign up for a complimentary intro lesson.

Even beyond that week, there are many music schools that will make this free offer or something similar so new students can start to get a glimpse of how they can pretty quickly be learning to play an instrument. Who knows, they may eventually start to hit the stage at open mics and coffeehouses where they’ll experience a brand new high that happens when playing music for an audience.

Vincent James is the founder of Keep Music Alive which is celebrating the 3rd Annual “Teach Music America Week” from Monday March 20th to Sunday March 26th, 2017 and has a participation of over 500 music schools around the United States.

The Importance of Music Therapy by Apryl Allen

Being a musician, I’ve always turned to music during difficult periods throughout my life. So, it was only natural for me, when I was unexpectedly diagnosed with breast cancer, to incorporate it within my healing process.

Being Native American, a Medicine Man recommended I name my cancer. He suggested I talk to it, sing to it and when it came time for surgery, tell it to leave my body and never return.

It was a fantastic visualization for me and I quickly incorporated it into my healing process. There were many unexpected and unanticipated benefits:

• Alleviated anxiety prior to and during difficult appointments, especially surgery
• Helped me sleep at night
• If I was frustrated, I’d listen to songs with lyrics that expressed my feelings. In doing so, it had a way of easing my fear of the unknown
• Sometimes I sang to the cancerous nodule as if it were a person or an illicit lover (Erased by Anne Lennox)
• Often, I’d turn to my Native Flute for comfort. Composing new materials reassured me I had a future
• The flutes tonal qualities transported me to a meditative place, in turn providing balance

Interesting fact: Prior to surgery I set time aside to say goodbye to the cancerous nodule—most importantly telling it to leave and never return. I sang, played the native flute, lit white sage, cedar and sweet grass. Afterwards, I sat quietly surrendering my mind to the stillness of life. I can only describe what I felt was similar to a muscle twitch. It happened four times at the exact location where the cancerous nodule was in my left breast.

Significant lifestyle changes that will help create an effective healing strategy

Other than music, I realized relying heavily upon my intuition during a period of the unknown is paramount to healing. I might add, after this experience I’m still learning. Most interesting, during this period, I visited the Hippocratic Oath which I found favors prevention to a cure. But how can we practice prevention when we don’t know the exact cause of cancer? That’s when the four elements came to mind.

Tapping into the elements—earth, wind, fire and water—are a vital part of health and the healing process.

• Earth: Deficiencies in Vitamin D is found to be a common factor of many diseases. Turns out its nothing for your doctor to run an annual test on your Vitamin D level during your annual exam (mine was extremely low at the time of my diagnosis).

Further, we’re all are focused on what vitamins we should be taking however, we’ve forgotten about minerals. Both play their role in prevention.

• Wind: Movement is a key factor in prevention and I’m not just speaking about exercise. Contemplate your lymphatic system which is often ignored. It’s imperative we incorporate a weekly lymphatic massage to keep this system working at its optimum capacity.

• Fire: In today’s world, we’re conditioned to ignore our feelings—especially anger. But I’m here to say it’s okay to have feelings. Allow yourself to go there; be open to them. I don’t consider myself an angry person, but suppressing this particular feeling can cause undue stress. Allow yourself to release it—EXPLODE!!! Allow your loved ones to do the same. This is where forgiveness comes into play, no one is perfect . . . allow yourself to feel.

• Water: Hydration is a fundamental component to both health and healing. Alkaline water is a good source for providing minerals too (see Earth above)

Apryl Allen is an award-winning musician, singer, songwriter, playwright, and a former Miss Arizona-USA. Allen is also a member of the Comanche Nation and is actively involved in efforts to preserve her tribe’s dying language and stories handed down. She is the author of A Tango with Cancer, published by Oray Publishing, 2016, paperback





Music Lessons are Not Really About Music...

Introduction: Music Lessons Are Not Really About Music

Taking music lessons involves much more than learning to read sheet music, understanding finger placement, and refining your appreciation for sound. Music lessons provide invaluable skills that can help a student’s personal, social, and academic development. A student of music can foster and develop an appreciation for being creative, confident, and persistent in their efforts to improve upon a new ambition.

Humankind has always been interested in music, even when instruments were rare and rudimentary. Music is an essential part of life that unfailingly brings us joy and elevates our spirit. In a cultural and societal sense, music is ingrained in our everyday lives. Music is a fundamental part of religious ceremonies, sporting events, and cultural festivals. It is played in coffee shops and restaurants as a soothing accompaniment to our conversations. It’s an inescapable and joyous aspect of our world that is woven into our daily activities and heritage.

Since the dawn of time, music has been a vital part of the human experience. It has united people, brought about peace, and spread happiness. Music is appreciated by listeners in a variety of ways—intellectually, consciously, and spiritually. Certain songs or music styles can even work to transport a person’s mind to a different time or place in their life. Music is representative of certain generations, parts of the world, and historical events. Music is a fundamental component of the human experience that expresses our intelligence, imagination, and desires.

Music lessons provide a platform for children, teens, and adults to set goals and watch them unfurl in front of their eyes. The skills learned in a music lesson or during a recital are applicable outside of the realm of just music. For example, if a student takes voice lessons, they’re working to improve their tone of voice; this will, in turn, make them more confident and direct speakers in the classroom or at work. Music schools are positive and uplifting environments for students that nurture personal development. A young guitar student who sits in a mentoring session for 30 minutes will not only progress in her musical abilities, but she will also develop other essential skills, such as her attention span and practice habits. Music lessons teach students the value of completing a task once it is started. The process of following through on an entire process is a valuable skill that helps mold a student into a successful and motivated person later in life.

We hope that you will develop an awareness of how music lessons can improve your child’s life and a desire to become involved in seeing your child cultivate a new hobby.


The Importance of Recitals

Giving an adult or child music student the opportunity to perform on stage every six months is extremely beneficial to the learning process.

First, it’s the best way to get an honest assessment of how a student is progressing. Many parents need to see the improve- ments their child is making from week-to-week. Unfortunately for eager parents, progress isn’t always consistent. If you were to reference any stock graph, you’d see that companies have performance peaks and valleys performance.

In much the same way, there are peaks and valleys in a student’s musical performance over time. Students will experience valleys during their practice sessions at home and peaks during their lessons at school. For this reason, recitals are important because you’ll be able to see how your child is able to perform a particular piece they have dedicated their time to learning and perfecting.

The second benefit of recitals is that it gives students the chance to perform in front of an audience. These performances can play a big role in their self-confidence later in life when they will need to make in-class presentations, perform speeches, lead a meeting, run a church gathering, or give a full-blown sales presentation or conference. A recital helps them understand the im- portance of preparing and practicing for a performance in front of a real audience.

Another benefit of a recital is that the unexpected can happen. Mistakes, unforeseen sound issues, or missed cues have happened to every professional musician. For example, Metallica and Lady Gaga played at the Grammys and the microphone went out. Monumental sound issues have affected Super Bowl performances in front of millions of viewers. These professional artists were forced to handle situations tactfully and gracefully. Experiencing an unexpected mishap on stage will help the student learn how to react to problems, cope with stress, and improvise!

Recitals are great for boosting a child’s self-esteem. Students are encouraged to invite their family, friends, and neighbors to their performances. A child has a lot to gain from having a room full of people they love watching them perform. For many, the pride and feeling of accomplishment of playing in front of a supportive crowd cannot be beaten.

It’s important that a music academy places a heavy emphasis on having fun on the night of a recital. When you’re researching music schools in your area, look for one that provides additional services that make the performance night a unique experience for your child.

At my school, we roll out a red carpet and have a step and repeat banner for our students, allowing them to take pictures with their families and teachers. Photos on a red carpet with a child’s teacher is a memorable and confidence-boosting experience.

Our recitals are formal, and we encourage the students to dress up for the evening. The entire audience of families and friends acts as a supportive and positive network that uplifts and encourages the children on stage. Formal recitals are more beneficial than little showcases for children because they are given the opportunity to perform on a big stage with other performers in front of a large, enthusiastic crowd. While it is a good idea to choose a great academy with a positive and uplifting philosophy towards recitals, it’s equally as important that you as a parent have an optimistic view of the recital. I am a very patient person, and I enjoy spending time with my three-year-old daughter and helping other children develop their own musical abilities. I understand that children are their own people and develop at their own rate, both in maturity and skill level.

It is with this mentality that I invite parents to be forgiving with their children during their recitals. Despite months of preparation and practice, many students are still quite nervous before a recital. If they truly aren’t ready and aren’t willing to go on stage, give them a hug, be supportive, and let them watch the other students perform.

Not being able to perform at a recital isn’t the end of the world. Parents should be happy that they’re investing in their children and giving them the opportunity to take lessons, perform, and grow. If a child doesn’t wish to perform, then it isn’t wise to force them to get on stage. They will always have another opportunity (often in six more months!) to prepare and perform on stage.

While I understand that parents want their children to be successful, I ask that parents allow their child’s passion for music to grow in a healthy and organic way. Parents shouldn’t push their child too hard because it could negatively impact their self-esteem. If your child makes a mistake on stage, it’s important to be supportive of them and remind them that they’ll have another opportunity soon.

My school is not a competitive environment, and we make sure that the students understand the importance of respecting and supporting each other. It’s about the love of art and the musical journey.

In my years as a music professional and educator, I have seen children grow from shy and introverted to outgoing, confident young adults. The ones who underwent this change stuck with the lessons and took every recital opportunity they could. The students were inspired by music and they were able to perform in front of a crowd, which in turn boosted their confidence. The progress didn’t happen after just four lessons, but from years of positive reinforcement by teachers and parents.

Signs Your Child Is Ready For Lessons

A child often conveys readiness for music lessons with physical expression. This is often starts with banging on pots and pans, tapping on couches, pretending a briefcase is a piano or that a notebook is a keyboard. If you play music and your child stops what they’re doing and starts dancing, that’s a good sign that they might have an interest in music.

The next sign that your child is ready for lessons is usually through verbal expression. The child may tell you outright that they want to start playing an instrument or taking voice lessons. Once the physical and verbal interest is there, it’s up to you as a parent to get the ball rolling. Our school is unique in that it offers month-to-month payment options for families. We don’t require long-term contracts or commitments like other music academies or sports programs.

When searching for a school, choose one with a month-to-month or short-term payment plan. If your child enjoys their lessons, they can continue. If they’re not, you can submit a withdrawal form. Don’t go to a school that requires you to sign long contracts. You should also be wary of schools that require a substantial pre-payment before you begin lessons.

The schools with the best teachers are flexible and have month-to-month plans that do not require stiff contracts. Good schools also have the option for electronic payments. Find a school with a month-to-month auto-pay service, and if the lessons do not work out, you can put in your notice and find something else your child is more interested in.

Gregory Walker Guest Conductor works with our Chamber Orchestra

Since his 2009 Philadelphia Orchestra debut, praised by the American Record Guide as a performance of “precision and rapturous immediacy,” Gregory Walker has gained international recognition for his "beautifully calibrated phrasing," “ravishingly beautiful” tone, and the “sheer virtuoso force”of his delivery. While developing unique collaborations with the Poland's SinfoniaVarsovia, Filharmonia Sudecka and the Encuentro Musical de los Americas in Havana, Cuba, as well as the Detroit Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Breckenridge Festival Orchestra, the Oberlin Conservatory Orchestra, Ft. Collins Symphony, Yaquina Chamber Orchestra, the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, and the Bavarian Youth Orchestra in Germany, he has been engaged at Norway's Tromsø Cathedral Series, the Gateways Music Festival in Rochester, New York, the Centro Mexicano para la Musica y las Artes Sonoras, Cork Orchestral Society Concert Series in Ireland, and at the U.S. Library of Congress.

Profiled in the internationally-distributed 2012 Chuck Fryberger documentary, Song of the Untouchable, Walker's discography includes critically-acclaimed releases from the Newport Classic, CRI, Orion, Centaur, and Leonarda record labels. He has performed with pop star Lyle Lovett and, as past concertmaster of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra, appeared with Mstislav Rostropovich and Itzhak Perlman, as well as Doc Severinsen and the Marcus Roberts Trio. Walker has been featured on National Public Radio, in Strings magazine, and on the cover of the April 2007 International Musician. He can be heard on Albany Records' 2014 recording of Pulitzer Prize-winning composer George Walker’s Violin Sonata No. 2.

A Musical Fix for American Schools

Research shows that music training boosts IQ, focus and persistence
Instruction in music literally expanded students’ brains. ENLARGE
Instruction in music literally expanded students’ brains. DENVER POST/GETTY IMAGES
Oct. 10, 2014 11:24 a.m. ET
American education is in perpetual crisis. Our students are falling ever farther behind their peers in the rest of the world. Learning disabilities have reached epidemic proportions, affecting as many as one in five of our children. Illiteracy costs American businesses $80 billion a year.

Many solutions have been tried, but few have succeeded. So I propose a different approach: music training. A growing body of evidence suggests that music could trump many of the much more expensive “fixes” that we have thrown at the education system.

Plenty of outstanding achievers have attributed at least some of their success to music study. Stanford University’s Thomas Sudhof, who won the Nobel Prize in medicine last year, gave credit to his bassoon teacher. Albert Einstein, who began playing the violin at age 6, said his discovery of the theory of relativity was “the result of musical perception.”

Until recently, though, it has been a chicken-and-egg question: Are smart, ambitious people naturally attracted to music? Or does music make them smart and ambitious? And do musically trained students fare better academically because they tend to come from more affluent, better educated families?

New research provides some intriguing answers. Music is no cure-all, nor is it likely to turn your child into a Nobel Prize winner. But there is compelling evidence that it can boost children’s academic performance and help fix some of our schools’ most intractable problems.

Grammy Award-winning composer and violinist Mark O'Connor discusses the importance of teaching classical music to children on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: YouTube/Mark O'Connor

Music raises your IQ.

E. Glenn Schellenberg, a University of Toronto psychology professor, was skeptical about claims that music makes you smarter when he devised a 2004 study to assess its impact on IQ scores. He randomly assigned 132 first-graders to keyboard, singing or drama lessons, or no lessons at all. He figured that at the end of the school year, both music and drama students would show bumps in IQ scores, just because of “that experience of getting them out of the house.” But something unexpected happened. The IQ scores of the music students increased more than those of the other groups.

Another Canadian study, this one of 48 preschoolers and published in 2011, found that verbal IQ increased after only 20 days of music training. In fact, the increase was five times that of a control group of preschoolers, who were given visual art lessons, says lead researcher Sylvain Moreno, an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He found that music training enhanced the children’s “executive function”—that is, their brains’ ability to plan, organize, strategize and solve problems. And he found the effect in 90% of the children, an unusually high rate.

Music training can reduce the academic gap between rich and poor districts.

The Harmony Project in Los Angeles gives free instrument lessons to children in impoverished neighborhoods. Margaret Martin, who founded the program in 2001, noticed that the program’s students not only did better in school but also were more likely to graduate and to attend college.

To understand why, Northwestern University neurobiologist Nina Kraus spent two years tracking 44 6-to-9-year-olds in the program and then measured their brain activity. She found a significant increase in the music students’ ability to process sounds, which is key to language, reading and focus in the classroom. Academic results bore that out: While the music students’ reading scores held steady, scores for a control group that didn’t receive lessons declined.

Prof. Kraus found similar results in a 2013 study published in Frontiers in Educational Psychology of 43 high-school students from impoverished neighborhoods in Chicago. Students randomly assigned to band or choir lessons showed significant increases in their ability to process sounds, while those in a control group, who were enrolled in a junior ROTC program, didn’t. “A musician has to make sense of a complicated soundscape,” Prof. Kraus says, which translates into an ability to understand language and to focus, for example, on what a teacher is saying in a noisy classroom.

Music training does more than sports, theater or dance to improve key academic skills.

Last year, the German Institute for Economic Research compared music training with sports, theater and dance in a study of 17-year-olds. The research, based on a survey of more than 3,000 teens, found that those who had taken music lessons outside school scored significantly higher in terms of cognitive skills, had better grades and were more conscientious and ambitious than their peers. The impact of music was more than twice that of the other activities—and held true regardless of the students’ socioeconomic background.

To be sure, the other activities also had benefits. Kids in sports also showed increased ambition, while those in theater and dance expressed more optimism. But when it came to core academic skills, the study’s authors found, the impact of music training was much stronger.

Music can be an inexpensive early screening tool for reading disabilities.

Brazilian music teacher Paulo Estevao Andrade noticed that his second-grade students who struggled with rhythm and pitch often went on to have reading problems. So he invented a “game” in which he played a series of chords on a guitar and asked his students to write symbols representing high and low notes. Those who performed poorly on the exercise, he found, typically developed severe reading problems down the line.

Intrigued, he joined with Nadine Gaab, an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, to follow 43 students over three years, and they found that the test predicted general learning disabilities as well. Why? Mr. Andrade notes that the brain processes used in the music test—such as auditory sequencing abilities, necessary to hear syllables, words and sentences in order—are the same as those needed to learn to read. Prof. Gaab says the test, which is simple and inexpensive to administer, has great potential as a tool for early intervention.

Music literally expands your brain.

In a 2009 study in the Journal of Neuroscience, researchers used an MRI to study the brains of 31 6-year-old children, before and after they took lessons on musical instrument for 15 months. They found that the music students’ brains grew larger in the areas that control fine motor skills and hearing—and that students’ abilities in both those areas also improved. The corpus callosum, which connects the left and right sides of the brain, grew as well.

Ellen Winner, a Boston College psychology professor and co-author of the study, notes that the study doesn’t show a rise in cognitive abilities. But she argues that music shouldn’t have to justify itself as an academic booster. “If we are going to look for effects outside of music, I would look at things like persistence and discipline, because this is what’s required to play an instrument,” she says.

Yet music programs continue to be viewed as expendable. A 2011 analysis in the Journal of Economic Finance calculated that a K-12 school music program in a large suburban district cost $187 per student a year, or just 1.6% of the total education budget. That seems a reasonable price to pay for fixing some of the thorniest and most expensive problems facing American education. Music programs shouldn’t have to sing for their supper.

7 Year Old Sanford Girls Plays Violin to Stop Violence

SANFORD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) - At the young age of 7 years old, Leah Flynn is a disciplined violinist.

"I like practice because it makes me get better and better and better each day," said Flynn.


The Sanford 2nd grader has performed as a soloist at numerous concerts and venues. She started playing at just 5 years old, and ever since she's been taking lessons and practicing daily with her father.


"I'm extremely proud and I tell her it's a God given talent that God gave her and she should use her talent wisely," said Paula Flynn, Leah's mother


And that exactly what Leah wants to do, her mom says when she saw the unrest and rioting in Ferguson, MO in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting, she wanted to do something.


"She said to me 'mom what's going on?' and I explained to her because I have to, I told her what's going on and she said 'but it's not right these people look so sad maybe I could do something for them,'" Flynn said.


So, her father taught her the song "Let there be peace."


"There's a lot of scariness there and violence and fighting so I really just want them to have peaceful and happiness," said Leah.


Now Leah hopes to be able to travel to Ferguson to play her song of peace to the community.


"In her eyes she believes that she can create some sort of change in the atmosphere down there," Flynn said.



You can view some of Leah Flynn's videos on her YouTube channel

Announcing our new Guitar Teacher - AMAZING!!! Open House 11/17 6-6:30

Pete Pigeon - Guitar Songwriting Didgeridoo

Pete recently moved here from the East coast where he taught private lessons for 19 years.  He has developed a customized approach to help each student achieve their potential.  Pete excels at developing an accessible personable report and adapts his curriculum to suit each student’s independent needs and desires.  He has extreme patience and a good-humored nature.  This has yielded powerful results with students from age 5 to adult.  His personal endeavors include spiritual growth and travel.  He holds a degree in Jazz Guitar from the State University of New York.  He is versatile in Jazz, Funk, Rock, Hip Hop, Alternative Country, Groove, Fusion, Experimental, Acoustic, World Music and more.

We will have an open house at the Lakewood location on Monday 11/17 from 6-6:30.  You can meet Pete, hear him play, and learn about his teaching style.  Refreshments will be served.

Pete has shared the stage with some of the best musicians across the country from Oregon to New York City.  He has been a working musicians since before he was old enough to drive to his own gigs.  He worked in the bands as guitars and singer.  He has had press describe him as:  plays guitar like a roadhouse Pat Metheny and has the easy touch of George Benson...has a knack for digging into the soul of a song...and more...  He was nominated for a Grammy for his music in 2012...  


Here's a Vimeo video of a Grammy interview:  http://vimeo.com/68186101

Should Your Beginning School Band Student Take Private Lessons?

The quick answer is YES! Private instruction is when a student is able to work one-on-one with a professional musician, the private teacher is able to work more in depth with the student on their instrument. Students will get help with developing a more professional tone on the instrument, fundamentals of playing their instrument correctly with better technique and help with a set of goals that will help your student excel on their instrument. Of course, the student must do their part and practice the lessons and assignments that the private teacher assigns to the student. Over the years, we know that when a student studies privately, they will improve as a musician. We have never witnessed a student become a worse musician when studying privately. What could be easier to help your student improve on their instrument by taking lessons?

Three Reasons Why Every Adult Should Take Music Lessons


Seem frivolous?  Intimidating? The benefits outweigh the expense and awkwardness.

I't's been proven that:

1. Music lessons lower stress and make you smarter.

Studies have shown that music education can increase IQ in both children and adults; it’s also a great stress reliever. Life can be hectic and very stressful, and easing stress is essential in every adult life. Why? Long-term stress can really wreak havoc on the brain by releasing “an enzyme that effectively breaks down part of the structure…of the neurons in the prefrontal cortex.” That’s brain damage, folks. Luckily, according to Amy Arnsten of Yale University, this damage can be “not only stopped, but reversed.”

The ideal situation, of course, is to keep stress levels low in the first place, and taking music lessons can be relaxing. At the same time, practicing music also builds up the brain, making it a double threat in the most positive way.

2. Learning to play an instrument comes with a built-in community.

After college in particular it can be difficult for adults to make new social connections, but studies show that having quality relationships with other people has a direct effect on the amount of loneliness we feel.

One of the first steps toward building a new friendship is finding common ground, and as adults leave being their educational careers it can be easy to get stuck in a rut when it comes to starting new hobbies. However, trying new things can provide a new “common ground” on which to meet other people.

Signing up for a music class can open the door to meeting other people of all ages who have a similar interest. There’s the instructor, for one, but many studios offer group music lessons. Having a class in common with another person can open the door to exploring new aspects of friendship—they might have new hobbies to explore, children of a similar age to your own, or simply be looking for new friends, too.

In addition to providing a community, music lessons have other advantages. They have low physical risk, which means that adults of virtually any age can take lessons. You’ll also never have to worry about injuring another person, unlike with some team sports—unless, of course, you accidentally knock someone with your clarinet. Finally, adults can practice with a partner, either in person or online—the opportunities are endless.

3. Music lessons can help stave off hearing loss.

For many adults, this could be a major selling point. According to a recent study from Northwestern University, taking music lessons as an adult can reduce the effects of aging on neural timing, which is “the nervous system’s ability to precisely encode sound.” Basically, what this means is that engaging in musical training, even at advanced ages, can help to offset the deterioration of speech and hearing skills. Communication is essential to all humans, and as we age the foundations on which our communication is largely based—the ability to hear and to speak—can decline. Music lessons, according to this study, can help the adult brain to delay or reduce hearing loss, making it easier for people to, say, hear another person’s voice in a crowded room. Those who fear having to constantly ask friends and loved ones to repeat themselves might stave this off by committing to music training.

The benefits are clear: even one of these effects could make a huge difference in the life of an adult, whether they’re in their twenties or nineties. The investments of time and money are minimal compared to the benefits adults will get from taking music lessons, and the risks are incredibly low. If you want to reduce stress, meet new people, and enhance your brain, music lessons are the way to go. Don’t wait. paraphrased from musicteachershelper.com

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