Music has always been a big part of people’s lives, even if they don’t realize it. They listen to it in the car, hear it in the background of television shows and movies, and it’s even used in school as a part of the learning process. And music isn’t only fun, it also has a lot of cognitive and physical benefits some people may not know about.
Music for Your Health
Music helps with things like better sleep and faster recovery from illness. Of course, exercising to music helps with balance and muscle tone, but there are also a whole lot of other health benefits. According to some studies, music can help with pain relief, increased mobility and increased coordination, just to name a few.
Music for Anxiety
One of the biggest benefits of music for people of any age is stress reduction. More and more nursing homes and assisted living centers are using music therapy as a way to deal with anxiety and agitation among its aging patients. Some even hire professional music therapists to maximize the benefits of those activities.
Music for Memory
Music has its own special way of forcing memory recall in the brain. When a person listens to a familiar song, they are instantly transported back to a particular memory. The scientific reason for this is that it “engages the whole brain, stimulating cognitive performance in … language and memory tasks.”
Making Music a Part of Your Life
Because of all the great benefits, it is important to use music on a daily basis to stimulate the brain and increase mental cognition. And there are lots of ways to do this. Instead of TV noise in the background when handling everyday tasks, why not put in your favorite CD? You can also play your favorite music while showering, before bed and upon waking. It is important to have it readily available and make a habit of turning it on.
You can also take the music outside of your home by learning to play an instrument or attending community concerts. Not only will that boost your brainpower, but it will also help you to socialize and stay involved with other people. Find ways to make music a part of your life every day.
Learning to Play Instruments
Playing an instrument is like circuit training for the brain. In other words, it engages your entire brain, making it light up even in places seldom used. And the choice of instrument is usually specific to someone’s personality and the type of music they like. There are also specific things to consider when buying an instrument. For example, a woodwind instrument has specific characteristics to consider.
A saxophone is a popular instrument in the woodwind family because of its roots in jazz. When choosing a saxophone for a senior, it’s important to start out with a small instrument, so you should probably stick with an alto or tenor sax. Check online for some great options.
Or, you might choose to go even a little smaller and start with something like a clarinet. There are entry-level clarinets and clarinets designed for more advanced players. Most entry-level clarinets are made of plastic rather than wood and are on the lower end of the pricing table.
With all the proven benefits of music for seniors, there is no reason not to try to incorporate it any way you can into your daily life. And since it is a fun and relaxing activity, it should be a welcomed event. Listen to your favorite tunes or take the benefits up a notch by learning to play an instrument. You will be keeping your mind young for much longer and enjoying life a little bit more.