Daily Dose of Music
6 Life Lessons of Music, Singing and Band
Group bonding and participation: playing music with others generates oxytocin, a chemical in the brain strongly associated with love. A group takes something incredibly intimate, a sound that begins inside you, shares it with a roomful of people.” Practicing music as a group prepares young people for a lifetime of collaboration. Singing in a choir or playing in a band helps ground so many adult lives, whether it’s in a quiet church, a tiny garage, or on stage of a local club.
Reduced stress: those sounds reverberating inside you also soothe your soul. A study at McGill University found that listening to and playing music significantly lowered cortisone levels, the body’s main stress hormone. Researchers have also found that music improves the immune system. Study’s went as far as to recommend prescribing music playing and listening to certain classes of hospital patients. Music isn’t just fun, it’s preventative medicine!
Creative process: music opens new possibilities in the creative process. Playing an instrument is like wrestling with a puzzle or writing an elegant proof, except that it fully engages your body as well.
Increased confidence: public performance builds confidence. It makes students confront fears and social anxiety. Students who start out shy on stage quickly discover the social benefits of performing for others: post-show compliments, increased social visibility, and a sense of satisfaction. They also conquer their initial fears.
Language development: scientific research indicates that music supports language development. Music stimulates and strengthens the parts of the brain connected to language centers, helping struggling readers in the earlier grades. Language and music also support each other in the other direction as well. Improving conversation and listening skills builds a musician’s capacity to excel.
Discipline: When you’re in band, you’re constantly learning new music, new drills, and the interminable lengths of serious rehearsals. This discipline also extends to solo performers. Whether you’re playing alone or in a group, there’s no way to guess or B.S your way through a test. A band director will always know if you’ve practiced. Also, performing for friends drives a desire for excellence. Notes don’t lie. In short, music nurtures both internal and external discipline, and that’s key for forging study habits, work habits, and good parenting.