Seniors: Fill Your Lives with the Benefits of Music By Karen Weeks

The Power of Music has transformative power. The right tune can change your mood or console you when you are down. We use music to celebrate the grandest moments of our lives from weddings to funerals. A specific song or album can even transcend time and take a person back to a place of memories.

Seniors: Fill Your Lives with the Benefits of Music  By Karen Weeks

The Power of Music

 

Music has transformative power. The right tune can change your mood or console you when

you are down. We use music to celebrate the grandest moments of our lives from weddings to

funerals. A specific song or album can even transcend time and take a person back to a place

of memories.

Seniors, more than anyone, can benefit from the power of music. Take the case of Henry.

Henry, who was described as “ vibrant” and “fun-loving” in his youth, became withdrawn and

depressed as his health deteriorated with age. In the documentary, Alive Inside, we see how

listening to music from when he was younger improves his spirit and brings life back into his

eyes. Social worker, Dan Cohen, describes music as a “quickening” therapy with positive effects

that can last beyond the time spent actually listening. After they take Henry’s headphones off,

he is livelier and shown chatting about his love of the music they play for him.

 

 

Seniors and Music Therapy

 

Seniors, in particular, can benefit from music. Music facilitates a happier outlook on life and

better social skills. It can increase mobility, coordination, and overall cognitive abilities. Music

stimulates the mind––especially in areas connected with memory. Furthermore, it helps reduce

stress and anxiety, which is good for a person both mentally and physically.

While much of the research involved with seniors and music studies show how it improves

symptoms of dementia and Alzheimer’s, you don’t have to be seriously ill to reap the benefits.

Music can improve a person’s life in many ways, even if they do not suffer from a degenerative

brain disease. Below are some fun and creative ideas for incorporating more music into your life

and how it can benefit you.

 

 

Learning to Play an Instrument

 

 

Whether it’s your first time picking one up or you just want to refresh your memory on an old

favorite, taking lessons on how to play an instrument is a great way to exercise your mind and

promote dexterity. Researchers say playing an instrument benefits the brain more than any

other activity. It also helps reduce stress and signs of depression. Playing music may even help

increase your resilience against age-related decline in hearing.

When picking an instrument to play, start simple and work to more complicated versions. For

instance, if you’ve always wanted to play the saxophone, start with an alto. It’s the most

common version for beginners, and as you learn the basics, you can gradually work towards the

soprano if you want to tap into your inner Kenny G.

 

 

Taking Dancing Lessons

 

 

 

If you want to put more music into your life, there’s no more natural partner than dancing.

Dancing lessons help improve muscle strength, balance, endurance, and just your physical

health in general. Plus, the movement helps pump feel-good neurochemicals like endorphins

and serotonin into your brain. There are all kinds of dancing styles you can consider from formal

ballroom to trendy jazzercise. Music and dance can help keep you moving and shaking happily

for years to come.

 

 

 

One Word: Karaoke

 

 

If you are looking for something new and different to shake up your next fun occasion with

friends or family, karaoke is for you. Believe it or not, karaoke actually has health benefits. It

helps improve breathing and respiratory health and strengthens your diaphragm. Getting up

there and belting out your favorite tune helps beat anxiety and boosts self-esteem. Plus, doing it

with friends and family helps strengthen social bonds that create your health support system.

 

 

 

 

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Music has transformative power that is beneficial for everyone but in particular seniors. While a

lot of research focuses on how music helps people with dementia, healthy seniors can reap the

benefits of music as well. Learning how to play an instrument, taking dancing lessons, and

doing karaoke with loved ones all keep seniors happy and healthy both mentally and physically.

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Seniors: Fill Your Lives with the Benefits of Music  By Karen Weeks