Posted on January 1, 2021, 12:00 am
No matter our age, we never lose the joy and fascination that comes with listening to music. The power of music not only endures into the golden years of life, but it grows. The more we interact with music as we age, the more music can benefit our bodies and minds. Here are three ways that music can benefit us and how we can incorporate music in our daily lives.
How Music Affects the Mind
As more research is conducted on the relationship between music and the mind, scientists agree that there is a profound connection between the two. Several studies have shown that music not only helps increase concentration among aging adults, but can even be used as a tool for grounding seniors diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia. Studies have shown that music engages several areas of the brain, which activates neural pathways, keeping concentration sharp and mental activity running smoothly.
As you go about your daily life, having music playing in the background could activate your brain in a manner that hones your focus and keeps you mentally astute throughout your daily activities. Put on your headphones as you go on a morning stroll, or have some background music playing as you do crossword puzzles. Even if you are not actively listening to what’s playing, your brain will remain engaged and help keep you on task.
How Music Affects Mood
Music has long been known to affect how we think and feel. When we hear Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata,” we feel somber. When we hear Vangelis’ “Chariots of Fire,” we feel motivated to get up and cross the finish line. This ability that music has over minds can be a great asset even in our later years. Music can motivate, placate, and even invigorate us to be more social.
With this in mind, seniors can create playlists of songs that can be used to help relax themselves before bed, or pep themselves up before an activity. Music can get us up and moving, which can lead to many physical benefits for seniors to enjoy.
Why It’s Never Too Late to Learn How to Play
If merely listening to music can be beneficial to our minds, or get our bodies up and moving, then imagine what actually playing music can do for seniors. While most music lessons begin at a young age, there’s no reason why someone can’t learn an instrument later in life. Learning an instrument is the perfect exercise of mind and body, building dexterity and hand-eye coordination.
As you decide what instrument is best for you, it’s important to pick out one that is of good quality. An instrument that’s out of tune or harder to play can lead us to overexert ourselves, which can make the learning process more frustrating and difficult.
Learning an instrument is easier than ever with online lessons. Seniors can learn for free through YouTube tutorials, or they can learn virtually through an instructor. You won’t be able to properly take online lessons with a weak and slow internet connection. Fortunately, you can access fast and reliable internet so you can stream lessons even if you live in a less-populated area.
These are just a few ways that music can benefit seniors in their daily life. Whether you decide to perform an instrument, or just listen to one, music can have a huge impact on our minds and bodies. For seniors, the greatest power of music is its ability to turn back time.
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