August 2019: Teen-2-Teen
The gift of music
by Sylvie Winje
“When you’re 90, you probably won’t be playing soccer, doing gymnastics, or dancing hip-hop, but you’ll still be able to play the piano.” This amazing quote has a powerful message. I believe that playing music is important, because it will make you smarter, will bring joy to yourself and others, and can last a lifetime.
First, playing music will make you more intelligent. Often, studies prove that young people who play musical instruments score higher on tests and perform better in school than those who don’t. When playing and practicing a musical instrument, you must hear the music, see the music, and feel it kinesthetically, all at the same time. Your brain makes important connections during this process. Basically, the more you play, the more connections your brain makes.
Secondly, music will bring joy to others and yourself. My sister and I play piano and sing at nursing homes. The residents love the music, because it touches their soul. After we play, people often come to us with tears in their eyes and tell us that we made their day. Researchers have found that actively being engaged with music can make you happier and boost your spirits. Sometimes when I’m having a rotten day, I will play piano and feel so much better afterward!
Finally, music will last a lifetime. Music is something we can do our whole life. My dad had a violin teacher who taught well into her 90s! Because she played music her entire life, she was sharp as a tack, even as an older woman.
So, consider learning a musical instrument like the flute, guitar, piano, violin, cello, or whatever else you want to play. Once you know how to play, think of ways to bless others with your music (nursing homes, relatives or neighbors). Even if you don’t believe you are musical, you can still gain the benefits from learning an instrument. Your brain will make wonderful connections and you’ll become smarter from practicing.
If you want to become smarter, bringing joy to yourself and others for many years to come, then learn a musical instrument. It will be worth it when you are 90!