Making Music is Good For You!

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While many of us receive great pleasure from listening to music, event greater rewards come from making music. The process of playing an instrument or singing a song can enhance our intellectual, emotional, social, and physical well-being. Many researchers are now affirming what many have known for years – music is good for you!
 

Brain benefits of making music

When we make music we activate both the right and left hemispheres of our brain.  Our brain is processing many messages as these activities involve the use of language, rhythm, pitch, fine and gross motor co-ordination, memory, patterning, and more.  This type of brain activity is healthy for developing young minds and keeping our adult minds sharp and alert.  Numerous studies have also proven that musical learning can increase performance in areas such as math and language.  Not only is music fun but it can make you smart too!
 

Music makes you feel good

While we know that music is good for the brain, it’s also good for the soul! I am sure many of your have stumbled upon songs that uplift you.  The process of actually making music can make you feel good too. Sitting down at the piano to play a favourite tune may be the perfect way to relax at the end of a busy day. Scientists have worked hard to explain this “feel good” phenomenon and have discovered that listening to music or making music can actually trigger our brain to release chemicals such as dopamine which boosts our mood.
 

Build self-confidence and discipline

While playing an instrument requires hard work, dedication, and a great deal of practise the rewards are worth it! The satisfaction of mastering a new song or skill is immeasurable. Not only do you feel a sense of achievement, but you also bring joy to those around you who are lucky enough to hear you! These experiences can be immensely rewarding and lead to further learning and development.

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Nurturing Your Child’s Love of Music

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Having grown up with music all around me and now being a music instructor, I have never known life without it!  However many parents have remarked to me that they did not grow up with music but want to make sure their child does.  With all the benefits that music offers, many parents are eager to expose their children to music!  Here are a few ways to nurture your child’s love and interest in music.

 

Enjoy live music

Check out local music events in your community.  Many festivals are family friendly like the Vancouver Folk Music Festival.  Even the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra offers concert going experiences tailored to the interests and attention span of young listeners.  Hearing and seeing live music is a thrilling experience and it might provide the spark that ignites your child’s interest in making music!

 

Listen

Dive into your collection of music and share some of your favorite artists with your child. Search through iTunes, YouTube, or even online radio stations such as Songza to expand your musical world! The more genres your child is exposed to, the richer and varied their own musical vocabulary will become. Think of how different the swing rhythms of jazz are in contrast to the hard driving rhythms of rock!

 

Bang a drum (or a pot)!

Grab a pot and a wooden spoon and start drumming. Everyday household items can easily be transformed into percussion instruments. If you do have a guitar or a piano at home, plunk around on it and chances are your child will be interested in playing too. Introducing instruments in a playful and unstructured way is perfect for the young child.

 

Share a story

There are many beautiful storybooks with musical themes that are perfect for book and music lovers of all ages. Some of my favourites are:

 

Improvise

Make up songs or rhymes about your daily activities using your own tunes or familiar tunes. (Think of singing “clean up, clean up all your toys” to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle!) Incorporating music into daily tasks is an easy way to get your children singing. Not only is everyone making music but you can also add a little sparkle to the daily routine!

 

Grab your dancing shoes

When in doubt, dance! Put on your favorite dance tune and get moving. Dancing relieves stress, increases energy levels and releases feel good endorphins. It’s a perfect way to put everyone in a good mood! Some of my favourite dance tunes are:

 

 

Happy music making!

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