According to scientific studies, around 30-40% of adults over 65 suffer a mild form of cognitive loss regarded as a normal consequence of aging—that feeling your memory and problem-solving abilities aren’t serving you as well as they used to.
The good news is that studies also show therapies—like learning to play a musical instrument—exercise the senses, memory, problem-solving, emotional state and dexterity, to ameliorate the effects of age-related cognitive decline. Such therapy can also slow the onset of more serious dementia.
How does learning to play an instrument do this? Well, to cite one study published in “Frontiers in Psychology,” reading music and playing an instrument is a complex activity that integrates the senses and motor skills in a unique way that exercises the brain, improving the way it works—its “plasticity.” The study also mentions music’s well-known ability to improve emotional states.
At the end of a four month study, they found significant improvement in cognitive function, mood and quality of life in a group of elders who trained on the piano, versus the control group who did not. Another study, conducted by Baycrest Health Sciences, published in the “Journal of Neuroscience” uncovered a crucial piece in why playing a musical instrument can help older adults ward off cognitive declines. The study found that learning to play a sound on a musical instrument alters the brain, such that it improves a person’s listening and hearing skills—in a way not achieved by simply listening to music.
It’s believed their findings could lead to the development of brain rehabilitation therapies through musical training.
Bringing better quality of life, by providing effective, affordable music learning to seniors is a major goal of Practicing Musician. We have students aged 8-70 employing our unique and easy-to-use service to learn to play an instrument.
For about the price of a Netflix subscription, Practicing Musician’s users get unlimited access to our online program of video lessons taught by world-class teachers, providing a “private lesson experience” for 14 different instruments. Sheet music is provided, and Practicing Musician even helps with selecting and acquiring your instrument.
Music is a gift that can grow and heal us, and Practicing Musician is dedicated to bringing that growth and healing to everyone, everywhere. Our service is the result of three years of development and user feedback that brings the “private lesson experience” to K-12 music programs and at-home users.
We invite you to visit and see how you can reap the benefits of learning to play an instrument.
“Every person everywhere joyfully engaged in music”