Posted on 3 Comments

Music and Emotions Tied to Health

Music and emotion

The mind and the body work together to create a healthy life. Music and emotions are often ignored, but can have an even higher impact in one’s life. Happiness and contentment are also essential to health and well-being. Music is a powerful and positive motivator to boost and improve our emotional spirit and overall health, especially when we develop the ability to actually interact with it. Instead of allowing music to be a background soundtrack or wallpaper to our daily activities, consider slowing down and really absorbing music on an emotional level.

Music triggers emotional memories

All of us have had the experience of being moved by a particular music piece. I cannot listen to Romeo and Juliet by Dire Straits without experiencing a deluge of tears! This sort of musical emotional release may sound unpleasant, but it’s quite common and oddly, healing. Whether you experience awe, sadness, grief or happiness, interacting with music taps into emotional energy and intrigue.

As any performer knows, the whole point of music is to stir emotional energy. Pay attention to the music that surrounds you and stirs you. Note how music influences how you feel, mentally, emotionally and physically.

Music and Happiness

A recent article pointed to a group study in which participants listened to upbeat classical music while actively trying to feel happier.  Upbeat marches by Aaron Copland seemed to light up a happy energy in the participants. Participants were encouraged to actively engage in the music (moving, singing, drumming, etc) which enhanced the overall experience of happiness.

Parents of children who take music lessons often report that their child is happier and more content as they learn to play and sing. The overall nature of learning music- rhythm, sound, hand and eye co-ordination- contribute to a positive sense of well-being and ultimate happiness.

Whether you’re listening or playing music, focus and listen to what you are participating in. Creation, at its core, is a precious energy and the interplay of spirit and music is soothing and uplifting!

Music and Emotional Health

A 2009 study found that people who participated in music lessons as children feel that the experience vastly contributed to their level of personal happiness and fulfillment. Hospitals, retirement centers and convalescent homes actively recruit music talent as a part of their healing programs. Experiencing a music performance is akin to therapy, as it evokes positive feelings of contentment and a hopeful, positive energy.  A positive music experience actually makes patients not focus so much on their pain and as the brain is in charge of the body, nothing could be more healing that listening to music!

Emotional health influences blood vessel function and a positive reaction to music not only makes one feel great, but it results in increase blood flow. Singing lifts the spirit and makes one soar with delight!

Music, learning to play it, sing it or truly experience it, is a way to increase happiness and over all well-being.  Immerse yourself in some feel good music vibes today!

Posted on Leave a comment

Music Lessons and the Mind

Music and the mind

Recent professional studies have determined music lessons for children are an empowering experience and enhance cognitive abilities and help grow and develop young minds. The interest in music lessons for children as a developmental aid comes on the heels of deep cuts in music education in public schools. As music and the arts continue to be deleted from schools, it becomes increasingly important to seek music lessons for children outside the public schools.  As music instructors, it’s important to help parents grasp that learning to play music has a far more reaching effect than just learning to play songs or scales on an instrument. 

Music lessons versus other lessons

A German study in 2013 cites a significant difference between learning to play music and participating in other skill building activities for children. “Music improves cognitive and non-cognitive skills more than twice as much as sports, theater or dance,” cites the study by German Socio-Economic panel in 2013. Children who take music lessons “have better cognitive skills and school grades and are more conscientious, open and ambitious.” The act of developing an open and ambitious attitude is a life lesson as much as it is a music lesson. Children who take music lessons learn early that discipline, productive practice and having fun as they are learning to play music are lessons that carry through a lifetime. 

Music lessons enhance verbal and reading skills

Children who learn to read music apply that knowledge to verbal and reading skills. There is a connection between the visual nature of note reading and the ability to decipher letters and words on a page. For children, music lessons can improve pitch and pitch recognition is a foundation of verbal skills. Parents may report better grades in reading, verbal expression, and an improvement in attention span for children who take music lessons. 

Music Lessons and mathematics

Music is math and the development of mathematical skills is vastly improved when children take music lessons. Greek philosopher and mathematician Pythagoras said, “There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.”  Music lessons teach children the values of numbers as they learn to read notes. Spatial recognition is also improved and a sense of mathematical order as they pursue music lessons. 

Summing up

The value of music lessons and the mind is undeniable and all music instructors should be able to talk with parents about not only musical instruction for children but the extreme enhancement to other facets of learning. Music is such a pleasure and such a fun way to accelerate learning in any educational pursuit! 

Posted on Leave a comment

How to find a music teacher for all levels

Guitar lessons

A wonderful music teacher can inspire creativity, discover passion and instill a sense of wonder in any student. The right teacher for each skill level is something to be considered as you begin or continue your musical journey. Let’s talk about things to consider when searching for a music instructor.

Ascertaining a skill level

It’s great to know where to begin, right? Are you a true beginner, or do you have some musical skill? Are you rediscovering your talent or starting from scratch?

It’s a good idea to figure out your skill level or the skill level of your child as you’re searching for an instructor. A purposeful dialog that addresses musical skills you have accomplished and what you want to learn helps a potential instructor know how to teach to a student. Talking to your child about what they want to learn from a music instructor is very helpful as children are often shy around new people. Take some time to really thing about where you are skill wise and where you want to be and what you would like to learn.

Personalities and learning styles are important

Children gravitate to funny, cool, young personalities. An older learner may be much more comfortable learning to play music from someone closer to their own age. Teenagers may learn best from young adults. Consider your learning style or the learning style of your child. Does your child learn best by listening and playing? Or is reading music a skill they would like to accomplish? Do they like big personalities or are they more comfortable around quieter people?If you’re a parent, you’re well aware of how your child learns best and what sort of instructor they would gravitate to and learn best from. If you’re an adult student, it’s good to ask yourself questions about the perfect instructor for your particular style and personality.

What skills you want to learn?

Are you interested in being a performing musician? A studio musician? Perhaps an orchestra player? Take time to focus on the trek of your musical path and be sure your instructor matches your goals. There are plenty of students who are not interested in a music career, and just want to be able to play and sing. Some students are music career driven and want an instructor who not only know how to play, but that guide them in music career choices. If teaching is your interest, you’ll want an instructor that is adept in music education and understands the dynamics of teaching others. Consider what you want to learn and the projected path of your musical career when choosing an instructor.

Let Melody Music Studios help you find a great teacher!

Kathi Kerr, our founder, has been teaching since 1985 and she is very adept at matching students with instructors. All of our instructors are professional musicians and are screened before they are hired. Instead of striking out on your own, allow Melody Music Studios to help you find a great instructor for you or your child!