I recently had a family member tell me how ecstatic they were after their very first accordion lesson with an inspiring music teacher. As a singing and piano teacher for the past 7 years, I have immensely enjoyed seeing the changes that the practice of music can bring to people’s lives, not just kids but adults too.
But somewhere between graduation and that serious job offer, some adults tend to push any creative pursuits to the side. Many have forgotten that their past musical education or choir experience used to not only bring them joy but enhance their lives on so many levels. Well, it’s never too late to start up again, and here are just some of the many reasons to make a music lesson a priority:
It contributes to better work/life balance. Not having time is a big issue for some, especially being influenced by a culture of workaholism. But with more and more companies understanding that work life balance leads to better employee productivity, extra curricular activities are being encouraged in the workplace. Some companies are now offering employee benefits that can be used towards such activities. Booking that singing lesson means you have another activity outside of work to attend to. It means you have to ‘switch off’ work mode for that hour.
It fosters mindfulness. Studies show how mindfulness can lead to better health and wellbeing. Music just like any other art form, allows us to escape the constant chatter of our thoughts. The practice of playing a musical instrument or the practice of singing takes us a bit further. In a world where multi-tasking is a full time job, music can allow us to focus and be present which will reap rewards for our health, while lessening anxiety and depression for some.
It helps us escape electronics. When was the last time we weren’t glued to our phones or tablets or computer screens? With a one hour music lesson, you are forced to shut off the madness from the outside world and really connect with what’s in front of you. It’s a nice breather to hold an instrument vs holding a phone. Or to actually vocalize and use your voice, instead of typing in words in a text message.
It enriches brain health. Playing a musical instrument and singing require the use of both sides of the brain simultaneously. Studies show that studying music can improve memory and cognitive function.
It sets an example and is inspiring to those around us. The practice of music requires focus, determination and discipline. This can be inspiring for those in our lives including children. I am reminded of a fabulous quote by Marianne Williamson: “…as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”