The Music for Life Project – how making music can improve your life

The senior population today is growing rapidly. And with this growth comes the need to find ways to improve our lives.

With so many things to do we can become confused and left with many more questions than answers. What works? What doesn’t? Ultimately we want to have fun, connect with others, and be challenged just enough to excite our minds.  Making music can make all of this happen!

The Music for Life Research Project: Findings

Until recently nobody really looked at how music-making could improve the lives of seniors.  But the more we investigate, the more we are recognizing that, surprisingly, making music actually gives us an incredible number of benefits.

The Music for Life Research Project looked very deeply at the benefits of community music making in older adults.  Amazingly, the project found that making music improved the lives of seniors in many important areas of well-being.

  1. Social – provided structure, a sense of belonging and community, and lots of fun
  2. Mind – challenging, new skills, improved concentration and memory
  3. Emotional – decrease stress, anxiety and depression, a new sense of purpose, confidence, creativity and positive feelings
  4. Health – improved mental health, improved mobility, and feelings of increased energy

Welcoming Melody and Rhythm into Your Life

Clearly music is an activity that can improve our lives.  It really is just like life. It has a flow and a beauty that can bring us to a different time, and take our worries away.  It also can help us know ourselves better and become closer with people. Below are a few comments from the seniors that participated in the Music for Life Research project. Listen to this:

“The freedom to enjoy and participate in music has changed my life dramatically”

“Has helped me to know that whatever age you are there is still something new and magic out there to enjoy”

“My husband died suddenly over 2 years ago and I found participation in the singing and instrumental group was one of the greatest supports in my life.  Singing is always uplifting and its difficult to be sad while playing the ukulele”

“I think you feel support from everybody.  If there is a concert, we are altogether in it and you feel everybody is there for you”

What amazing testimony to the power of making music.

4 Ways to Participate in Music

Find a way to make music.  If that’s not possible below are some ways to get music into your life:

    1. Musical listening – research shows we can experience positive emotions and increased relaxation through listening and there is even some evidence suggesting we may live longer too
    2. Songwriting
    3. Singing – this can include song selection, sing-alongs, and name that song games
    4. Music lessons – musical appreciation, to theory, and playing an instrument

 

 

Making music can enrich your world.  Find a way to start your musical journey.  It’s never too late and it’s always exciting to sing or play your way to better health.