If you're a musician or would like to learn to play an instrument you may be wondering if assisted living is the right choice for your lifestyle. You may be surprised to learn there are many ways playing an instrument can help not just you but your neighbors, too!
You don't have to shimmy like Elvis to reap physical benefits from playing a musical instrument because there are plenty of other ways music helps you keep in shape physically. Playing music helps retain and gain hand dexterity it helps your overall dexterity. It also keeps your hearing tuned because you have to listen to the details of what you're playing. Your eyesight will benefit too because you'll need to read the music you're playing. Music lowers your heart and respiration rates and can help keep your blood pressure in check, too. Of course once you get into the swing of things you'll be tapping your toes, and that's a good exercise in itself!
Playing music is a major workout for your brain. You have to simultaneously read and play the notes while keeping rhythm. Music makes your brain process faster, improves your memory, and keeps you sharper for a longer time. Because playing music involves so many areas of the brain it will keep you sharp for years to come. Music may even be related to a decreased risk of developing dementia.
Playing an instrument not only reduces stress it reverses your body's adverse reaction to stress. Musicians speak through their instrument, so you'll express yourself emotionally, creatively, and spiritually: all ways to beat depression. Music can build your confidence and make you more confident in social situations. Because musicians generally play together you'll be socializing more, and where there's music other people gather to listen and sing. You just may become the life of the party!
While playing an instrument has many physical, cognitive, and emotional benefits there's something else it can give you: the opportunity to help others. Because listening to music has many of the same benefits your friends and neighbors can also reap the rewards of your musical talent. You may even decide to volunteer to play for hospital patients or those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer's, and that's a noble way to share your talent.