Everyday there seems to be more and more evidence suggesting children playing music increases brain power. A study by Canada’s Rotman research Institute
Though numerous studies have shown that music lessons can expand intelligence, raise IQ, and improve academic skills, one study published in the Journal of Neuroscience proved that music literally can expand the brain.
When Robert Plant sang: “Your head is humming and it won’t go, in case you don’t know,” he could have been singing about tinnitus, a common problem, that is even more prevalent among musicians. About 50 million people in the US suffer from tinnitus, but it is estimated that less than one-third seek treatment.
Carpal tunnel syndrome is another, as is tendinitis, even tennis elbow. Loud popping noises in the joints, a growing numbness in the hand, there isn’t one symptom or one diagnosis.
According to the National Center for Creative Aging, “the arts can serve as a powerful way to engage elders in a creative and healing process of self-expression, enabling them to create works that honor their life experience.” That organization’s Creative Aging Toolkit is designed to help leaders and program staff create programs that enhance the lives of older adults, helping them discover a new sense of purpose, collaboration, and community through music.
The second most common reason why people visit their doctor is back pain. In fact, about 65 million Americans suffer from back pain. Whether you play drums, guitar, violin, or trombone, you are at risk of developing back pain. As a musician, it can have a severe detrimental effect on your ability to enjoy playing.
“At the Dallas School of Music [DSM] we’re finding more and more adults are wanting to learn music,” says DSM President Dr. Bob Lawrence, “It appears to be a combination of parents who want to learn along with their kids and older adults who are remembering how much fun they had in school band, choir, and orchestra.”
Last year Linda Ronstadt announced that she has Parkinson’s disease and can no longer sing. In an AARP Magazine interview she stated, “No one can sing with Parkinson’s. No matter how hard you try.” Music therapists and other experts who work with Parkinson’s disease patients, say this is not true. While she may no longer be able to sing, many people can and do sing, and for some, it is part of their Parkinson’s treatment.