Last year I began this blog with the intent of writing about my escapades (and the Master Gardener's) in the garden...hoping to add a little humor to the whole process. After the gardening season ended I thought it would be good to transition into a type of blog that tries to help see the good in life and promote happiness. I have talked about a lot of issues that I believe are important to promote a state of well-being not only physically but mentally as well. I have not touched on the spiritual aspect, however, it's coming!
My thought for this blog was to transition back into the gardening area and get back into telling everyone about our gardening issues. However, I have seen quite a few people beginning blogs on this topic and honestly, I am not an expert on gardening. The Master Gardener (my husband) is much more knowledgeable than I am! I just like to poke some well-intentioned fun at our escapades. I will continue to do that, however, my blog will focus more on the physical, mental and spiritual well-being as it has since last fall.
As the title suggests I would like to talk a little about music. From my previous blogs, I have written about what I do for a living. My job is music based in everything I do. Glee Club, Musical Theatre Workshop, Voice Lessons/Vocal Coaching, Music Enrichment for the Eagles (SEASPAR), SEASPAR Choir, Voice Lessons and Music Mania...THAT'S my job. And every day I walk into class I am always amazed at the effect music has on every individual I have in class. Sometimes it's subtle and sometimes not so much. But I can tell you with absolute certainty that music affects EVERYONE.
Just a few facts about having music in your life:
- Music provides an avenue for people to express themselves when words are difficult.
- Music has the ability to to organize and reorganize cerebral function where it has been damaged.
- As a musician (voice OR instrument) adjusts to changing tempos, notes, patterns, phrasings and feeling, the brain becomes adept at organizing itself (thoughts) and handling numerous activities at one time.
- Musical training has been proven to improve how the brain processes the spoken word.
- A Columbia University study revealed that students in the arts are found to be more cooperative with teachers and peers, more self-confident and better able to express their ideas.
- With music in schools, students connect to each other better—greater camaraderie, fewer fights, less racism and reduced use of hurtful sarcasm.
- High school students who participate in band or orchestra report the lowest lifetime and current use of all drugs.
- The skills gained through sequential music instruction, including discipline and the ability to analyze, solve problems, communicate and work cooperatively, are vital for success in the 21st century workplace.
These are common benefits that every Music Teacher, every Music Therapy instructor and every Musician knows. We ALL know this. And it's not just limited to benefiting children. Adults have the same reactions to music that children do. Think about it...play a couple different types of songs. Think about how they affect your "mood." When you're working on a big report/presentation for work, put on some music in the background. What happens? Well, what happens is music accesses a different portion of your brain...the creative area...VERY helpful when "creating" anything (from a report to a presentation to a letter...ANYTHING!)
My last week was filled with:
- A Musical Theatre Workshop performance where 16 young girls learned nine musical numbers, dialogue, dancing, singing and how to conduct themselves professionally on stage. They were FANTASTIC!
- A Voice Recital where nine of my students each performed one to two vocal pieces as a result of their work over 10 to 12 weeks. AMAZING!!!
- SEASPAR Music Recital where my Choir (Glee Club) and Voice students absolutely KNOCKED IT OUT OF THE PARK on performance day!
Between all of these groups there were almost 30 participants! And seeing how they conducted themselves, how they performed, their ease of being in front of a lot of people was positively inspiring!
Asking a few of them what they would do if they could not have music in their lives, I was met with shocked faces and a "what are you, crazy?" response.
Music is everywhere. Listen carefully. Even in the forest preserves you can hear the birds singing. Sometimes what you do not think is music is music to someone else's ears. (Personally, AFI kind of escapes me...but I think Mozart escapes some people too!). Whatever your taste in music, expand on that. Or try something new. There are wonderful concerts in the park, Ravinia; the city of Chicago has some wonderful venues for music. Why not get out there and try some this summer? Maybe you will find some different music you like or maybe you will enjoy your own personal favorites. You never know.
If you do not have music in your life right now, take the time to add some. I guarantee you will not regret doing this.
Music is for everyone. And everyone should have music.
Thanks for reading! As always eat well, stay healthy and be happy!
(*For more information on any of the groups I work with or any of the classes I teach please drop me a note!)