#92 Why Adults & Seniors Need to Take Music Lessons
Updated: May 29
By Christy | the Practicing Pro
You can also Watch / Listen to the Live
Part 1 HERE 7:42 minutes
Part 2 HERE 14:34 minutes
My husband and I think about our retirement, and both worry and dream about it.
Funny, but my husband actually has a countdown timer on an app on his phone. He is at 3 years and 8 months right now until he completes his Paramedic job! He often talks about all of the things that we will do when he retires and is pretty excited about it!
“What will retirement look like?”
I visited my brother in a retirement village in Florida a year ago. It was a few postal codes long to drive from one end to the other - it was HUGE!!! You actually had to be 55 or older to live in this community. It was a happening place - there was live music and dancing in 4 different squares each night, over 100 golf courses and 78 recreation buildings, and most had pools! Each week you could attend hundreds of classes and clubs, which were included in your monthly recreation fee. My brother moved there with the goal of having the longest, healthiest, most active and happy retirement years. And wow, is he ever!!!
This was a new concept to me, and I was so intrigued.
Could I create this in my city? If I want this in my Senior years, then what can I do now to create those habits so they will serve me when I retire but not move to his village?
When I came home, I researched what REALLY makes adults & seniors healthy and happy. My brother's community had indeed created this in their village- they literally perfected it! I was blown away by this community!
Now, I want to share with you some of the things I learned by researching and studying many articles over a few months and how I learned that studying MUSIC can hit all of these things that can bring Seniors happiness - and HOW.
Ok, here goes! This is what I found!
Here are the top 4 things to bring you happiness and a long full life as a Senior.
1. Prioritize Family And Friends - Be social every day with other people
Social connections are the key to happiness with age. Friends and family members are the perfect people to keep you happy and lift you up if you are feeling down. They’re also the ones who will be there to celebrate your wins & special moments. Make it a point to be around people every day. Family, friends or even a group of casual acquaintances that you do regular activities together with, like an art class, music program, church group, book club, cooking workshop or movement class etc..… Music lessons and playing music in an ensemble, choir, orchestra, group class etc.. is perfect!
2. Discover New Interests & Use and Share the Ones you Have
It’s easier to be happy when there are things to look forward to each day. Seniors that take classes and explore different hobbies that stimulate the mind and body have more happiness and keep their minds sharp. Did you play an instrument or sing in a choir when you were young? Try it again! Why not! Try a completely new instrument. Just give it a go! Sign up for a completely new class, and if you don't like it, move on to another class. Having access to a community center or library with programs is wonderful, so look for living where you have access to those centers. Find things to try and learn that will fill you with joy and help you meet new people with similar interests.
3. Stay Moving for Health & Vitality
Joining a class weekly or daily keeps you in a routine of getting out, meeting people and learning. Sunshine is also a mood booster, so simply getting out daily to an activity in a community that includes a short walk, drive, or bus ride will also include sunshine, and fresh air, so this is ideal. Especially when the weather isn’t the greatest for a stretch of days, you will get bundled up and still get out to go to a lesson or class that you have committed to.
4. Be a Part of and Contribute To a Community
After retirement, seniors have more time to do things they have always wanted to do to make other people’s lives better. Think of a skill you can use to share with the community. Music is a wonderful way to help others (there will always be someone who is just starting to play an instrument when you have been at it a few years) to play with. Duets and ensembles for music take a group of people to enjoy, and everyone is needed. Music shared with others in concerts or gatherings makes people so happy on the receiving end. Be involved in a group to make it better, sew costumes, fundraise, invite friends, and put up event posters. Support your community and help to make it even better.
4 THINGS TO BRING YOU HAPPINESS AS A SENIOR INFORGRAPHIC
Playing a musical instrument, taking lessons and being in a group is a wonderful way to check off all of these boxes in one SWIPE! In socializing, learning, movement and community.
PLUS - Here are even more benefits of playing a musical instrument. (including your voice)
1. Stay mentally sharp and active as you age
Studies show that learning an instrument can help improve memory and attention and sharpen the brain's cognitive abilities. Learning to play a musical instrument is similar to learning a new language. This stimulates the left side of your brain, which often can be unstimulated and can cause decreased neural function over time.
Learn an Instrument
When adults take music lessons, their attention, memory and problem-solving abilities improve, along with their moods and quality of life. You don’t have to become a pro; just take regular lessons or join a weekly music group.
2. Connect to a larger culture.
It has always been said that music connects the world and its people. Learning world music, attending workshops, and playing different music with diverse people from other cultures and styles of music - it's all easily accessible to musicians and brings so much JOY!
3. You can be a role model to your child by also learning a musical instrument.
“Do what I do and not just what I say” is so powerful. In the Suzuki Method of learning by modelling and repetition, children thrive. When a parent or grandparent also learns an instrument alongside a child, they can also model from them daily practicing and the joy and satisfaction that comes from a bigger achievement that comes from small daily efforts. What an amazing life lesson worth gold to a child!
4. Meet people and make new friends as you age with music
Sharing a class with other adults and seniors will also broaden your social circle, and maybe even share a grandparenting, cooking or DIY tip or two! Meeting new people that share the same hobby or class is always a good thing!
5. Join your child, grandchild or friend in practicing a musical instrument every day
As you take up music lessons of your own, you can join your child or grandchild or friend in their everyday practice! It can be a bonding moment to look forward to. Even if you study different instruments, you can accompany them as they do their exercises or play their favourite review songs.
5 BENEFITS OF PLAYING A MUSICAL INSTRUMENT INFOGRAPHIC
At our Scotia Suzuki School of Music, everyone is welcome at any age to start a musical instrument.
A personal note about the Halifax Adult Community Arts Center:
I love living in Nova Scotia and knew I could never leave here BUT I wanted to try and find the amazing benefits this community that I saw so carefully made for their residents. How could I recreate that here for my husband and I in our mid-50s, my mom, who is 83, my friends and others in my community? Could I create a program to help them find the most happiness possible in their Adult and Senior years?
If you live in Halifax, then check out our Adult Community Arts Center for classes and workshops.
I started this program after visiting my brother's retirement community in Florida and doing this research! That’s right! Learning music as an adult is so important that this visit to my brothers and the research I did afterwards that it actually motivated me to start a whole new program!
That's how important I realized that it was for Adults and Seniors to have more access to music and art programs. Also, how important it was for my husband and I to build this community NOW and start having habits now so that when his 3 years and 8 months come to an end, we already have this wonderful community here for us that we are already active in.
Conclusion & Invitation
There you have it - part THREE - with things and benefits to bring you happiness and a long full life as a Senior.
By following these suggestions, you can keep your adults taking music lessons longer and with more confidence in your studio.
This is the third blog of a three part series. Check out blog #90 for part one that hits the first 10 secrets HERE. The second one #91 is for HERE.
Speaking of suggestions, check out my Free PDF download Checklist for a Successful Music Practice for teachers and practicing parents.
Your easy checklist for successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent/teacher, this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.
INVITATION from Christy Hodder:
DIGITAL COURSE from the Practicing Pro Academy
Speaking of amazing practices, let me tell you all about the digital course, the Practicing Pro Academy. This is an at-your-own-pace, step-by-step, online course for teachers and practicing parents to bring you more effective, positive, and fun home music practices. Registrants receive a special package in the mail from me, and I am with you in person with Q&As to answer all your questions. Learn more about PPA and join HERE
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