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Why Play Music - Adults
- Music therapy was recently found to reduce psychological stress in a study of 236 pregnant women (College of Nursing at Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan)
- Playing music reduces stress and has been shown to reverse the body's response to stress at the DNA-level (Dr. Barry Bittman).
- Playing music "significantly" lowered the heart rates and calmed and regulated the blood pressures and respiration rates of patients who had undergone surgery (Bryan Memorial Hospital in Lincoln, Neb., and St. Mary's Hospital in Mequon, Wis.)
- Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).
- Anger Management Music therapy can help people identify the emotions that underlie anger and increase the patient's awareness of these feelings and situations that can trigger them. If a situation or emotion is presented in a song the healthy options for expressing that feeling can be discussed and conflict resolution and problem solving can be practiced in a positive manner.
- Drumming is also used by music therapists to help patients appropriately vent anger and other emotions. Another use of drumming can be a non-verbal conversation on drums where the ability to listen to the other person's drumming is needed to "converse" on the drums.
- Playing a musical instrument can reverse stress at the molecular level, according to studies conducted by Loma Linda University School of Medicine and Applied Biosystems (as published in Medical Science Monitor).
- Making music can help reduce job burnout and improve your mood, according to a study exposing 112 long-term care workers to six recreational music-making sessions of group drumming and keyboard accompaniment. (As published in "Advances in Mind-Body Medicine") Engaging in playing music reduces depression. Recent research with long-term care workers showed reduced depression (21.8 percent) six weeks after the completion of a music-making program consisting of one hour per week (Source: A 2003 study conducted by Trip Umbach Healthcare Consulting, Inc.).
- Parkinson's Disease and Stroke: Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, according to Michael Thaurt, director of Colorado State University's Center of Biomedical Research in Music.
- Researchers have also discovered that hearing slow, steady rhythms, such as drumbeats, helps Parkinson patients move more steadily (Friedman, “Healing Power of the Drum,” 1994).
- Cancer Subjects who participated in a clinical trial using the HealthRhythms protocol showed an increase in natural killer cell activity and an enhanced immune system. While this does not indicate a cure for cancer, such results may be of benefit for those facing this disease. (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).
- Playing music increases human growth hormone (HgH) production among active older Americans. The findings revealed that the test group who took group keyboard lessons showed significantly higher levels of HgH than the control group of people who did not make music (University of Miami).
- Recreational Music Making (RMM) has been scientifically proven to help the U.S. workplace by:
- Reducing employee stress
- Reducing employee depression
- Reducing employee burnout
- Improving employee retention
- Employee stress is expensive for companies and widespread. Research shows that the economic impact is estimated at $300 billion each year (Source: New York Times). Experts claim that 60 to 90 percent of doctor visits involve stress-related complaints.
- Engaging in RMM reduces stress. RMM has been shown to reverse the body’s response to stress at the DNA level (Source: Dr. Barry Bittman).
- Depression is widespread in the workforce and is expensive for companies. The economic impact of depression in the workplace is estimated at $34 billion annually—$11 billion for treatment, $11 billion in decreased productivity, and $12 billion in absenteeism. Depression affects about 19 million people, 70 percent of whom are in the workforce. (Figures are according to Braun Consulting News.
- Engaging in RMM reduces depression. Recent research with long-term care workers showed reduced depression (21.8 percent) six weeks after the completion of an RMM program consisting of one hour per week. (Source: A 2003 study conducted by Trip Umbach Healthcare Consulting, Inc.)
- RMM can help companies reduce turnover, saving them millions. The research with long-term care workers showed an 18.3 percent overall reduction of employee turnover by implementing an RMM program. The total annual savings was projected at $1.46 billion.
- Every worker can participate in RMM. There are no physical limitations or requirements.
Weekend Warrier Program
- The Weekend Warriors program is a national recreational music making initiative that encourages adult music lovers to make the jump to being music makers. Participants learn how to play music from a professional musician who coaches the group through five to eight weeks of song building on the weekends. At the end of the session, the group shows off their new musical skills during a performance at a local venue.
- The program was launched in 1993 by Skip Maggiora of Skip’s Music in Sacramento, Calif., and was designed to encourage older adults who once played an instrument or who have never pursued the activity to start playing for real.
- Maggiora licensed the idea to the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM), which encourages its NAMM Member retailers across the United States to offer the program in their community stores and provide adults with the opportunity to experience the many proven social, physical and wellness benefits of making music.
- Since the program was started, thousands of middle-aged, career-minded adults such as doctors, lawyers and engineers, have become “weekend warriors” and are now living out their rock star dreams by playing in a band on the weekends.
New Horizons Music Program (Orchestral Groups for Boomers and Seniors)
Started by NAMM in the early 1990s, New Horizons Music programs provide entry points to music making for adults, including those with no musical experience at all and those who were active in school music programs but have been inactive for a long time. Many adults would like an opportunity to learn music in a group setting similar to that offered in schools, but the last entry point in most cases was elementary school. We know that for most of the last century, about 15-20 percent of high school students nationally participated in music. From that, we can estimate that at least 80 percent of the adult population needs beginning instruction in order to participate in making music. New Horizons Music programs serve that need. http://www.newhorizonsmusic.org/nhima.html