6.24.2010

Musical Q & A

I was interviewed last year for the December/January issue of Enhance Magazine of Kansas City for a story on enhancing your mind and body through music.  They were looking to provide information and inspiration to make music a bigger part of their reader's lives.  I eagerly awaited my copy of the magazine so I could see how I had been quoted but I was sad to learn that nowhere was I mentioned and the feature changed a bit to focus more on music as a part of the healing process.  I thought how sad to let all my good work go to waste when I could be sharing my thoughts with the world.  So, here are some of my answers to the questions prepared by writer/editor, Emily Perkins.  Enjoy!
 

Why should an adult who doesn't have any experience or knowledge of music maybe give some lessons a chance?  Why would music lessons be a great new hobby to try?
So many people have always wanted to start learning a musical instrument or wished they had kept singing after high school and never did for one reason or another.  Life usually got in the way.  Music is timeless and can be appreciated by people of any age.  The basics of music reading can be learned in few months of consistent practice. 

What have you seen your adult students gain from taking music lessons?
Increased confidence, satisfaction in learning a new skill, and a sense of accomplishment.

What would you say to someone who is scared of taking lessons? Or thinks "they just can't do it..."
Give it a try anyway.  You don't know until you try it.  Give it a month before you decide not to do it again.  It takes that long sometimes to start seeing any results but it is so worth it if you stick with it. 

What would be a good way to get into music? Try one lesson, etc.? 
The most traditional and effective way to study a musical instrument is through private lessons. Private lessons give you the opportunity to enjoy one-on-one instruction with the flexibility of individualized scheduling. You can start from the beginning or build on what you have already learned. It is important for lessons plans to be constructed to fit your learning style and to help you meet your musical goals. No prior music experience is necessary to begin study. Its never to late to start learning!

Why is music so beneficial for the mind, body and spirit?
Learning how to play a musical instrument or honing your craft as a vocalist can help ward off dementia and even Alzheimer's.  It's been said that Learning to read music is like learning another language.  Any new skill you can learn at any time in your life will help to make your mind stronger.  Some people like suduku puzzles and crosswords.  I like to dissect a new piece of music.

Maturing musicians can greatly benefit from beginning regular music study. Studies have shown that regular music lessons can significantly decrease anxiety, depression and even loneliness in most people. These factors are critical in dealing with stress, improving the immune system and bettering our health. Results from these studies show a significant increase in human growth hormones following music lessons. Lack of Human growth hormone is implicated in the aches and pains that many people experience as we age.

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