Monday, November 23, 2015

Music is good for you, especially in your later years

Image result for classical guitar

“Music, the most-studied art reviewed, has been shown to have a number of benefits. One landmark study compared older adults who were invited to join a choir to those not invited. Twelve months after the study began, choir members showed decreases in doctor visits, falls, and over-the-counter medication use. Improvements were seen in overall health rating and number of activities performed. In a larger study that randomly assigned individuals to a choir program or a control group, the choir partisans had lower scores on a depression/anxiety scale, and higher scores on a quality of life scale. A survey of older amateur singers before and after joining a musical group showed increases in emotional well-being, social life, quality of life, and self-confidence. In studies of instrumental music, 98 percent of 1,626 survey respondents said that playing an instrument in a group affected their health in a “uniformly positive” way. A study of organ players not only showed decreases in anxiety and depression, but also revealed increases in human growth hormone, a molecule associated with a number of positive health outcomes. Another study that compared the length of time a musical instrument was played (from zero to over 10 years) showed a possible linear relationship between the amount of playing and cognitive performance. However, not all studies reviewed showed such significant results, and in some cases the positive impact of a musical program were not maintained as early as three months after the program was completed. It should be noted that the studies with significant results were considered to be more rigorous.”

If you used to be active in the arts, but no longer are, perhaps you need to rethink why you’re enjoying life less, why there is more anxiety and depression, why you don’t feel well.  Pick up the trumpet, or sit down at the piano, or join that choir.  It’s good for you.

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