You already knew that music is very beneficial for your health, as well as for emotional and cognitive development – that’s not exactly breaking news.
Just as a reminder, a multitude of studies have demonstrated that music training in children improves social skills and academic performance. In adults, music has been shown to lift the mood and relieve anxiety, and, consequently, help prevent numerous medical conditions that are stress-related.
And in the elderly, exposure to music has been known to boost memory and help prevent the onset of age-related, cognition-depleting diseases, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Yes, music is a wonderful boost for any age, and the best thing is, it’s all natural – no artificial preservatives, additives, or pesticides.
But, as compelling as these benefits are, music offers even more health perks, such as physical fitness. Wait, you’ll see!
If you ever played an instrument or took voice lessons, you know how much physical strength and endurance these actions require. Whether you play the lightest instruments like a flute or recorder, or the big and heavy ones like the upright bass; whether you blow into it, strum it, or let your fingers do the walking, you can’t get even the smallest sound out of any of these instruments without putting your muscles to work.
For example, in the very least, wind instruments big and small require the use of facial muscles, as well as various muscle groups located in your chest and abdomen.
For the guitar, your forearm, wrist, shoulder, and neck muscles are put to work, and for the piano, the small muscles of your hands are getting a workout.
And what about the drums? We are glad you asked, because this percussion instrument gives a terrific lower and upper body workout by exercising your legs and arms, making you move and, as a result of all this action, burn fat and calories.
In fact, nearly every instrument will burn a certain number of calories – 204 for an hour of drum practice, 170 for the trombone, and 136 for the rock guitar.
Another very important health and fitness factor of music training is that, no matter which instrument you play, you must maintain a good posture. That’s because correct posture strengthens the spinal column and promotes good body alignment, preventing the deterioration of muscles and ligaments that keep you balanced, flexible, and pain-free.
Now, you might be wondering how does all this music-related muscle activity make you healthier and fitter.
This is what you should know: With age, our muscle mass declines and the body becomes weaker and less resistant to all kinds of ailments like osteoporosis, arthritis, joint diseases, and other medical conditions. But building up muscle mass throughout your life will help your body stay strong, fit, and healthy.
And by the way, this is another good reason to work with a qualified music teacher: it’s easy to grab an instrument and start strumming, but unless you maintain the correct posture and muscle control, you might end up with aches, soreness, and stiffness. A good teacher, however, will show you the proper way to sit or stand, hold your instrument, and use your muscle groups.
We at Hey Joe Guitar believe in the beneficial powers of music and will be happy to send one of our excellent teachers to your Manhattan, Brooklyn or Riverdale home or office.
All our instructors are carefully screened, so you can be sure they will not only teach your proper musical techniques, but also help you derive the health benefits of music!