Let Music Lead #2

When we created the MindHarp the dream was to create a musical tool that would allow anyone to engage with musical sound.

Simply put; we believe that the more people who actively on a more or less regular basis, engage in any kind of music will lead to a safer, gentler, healthier and happier world for all of us.

Many of us know this intuitively; that music makes us feel good, more open and ready to share. That it calms us when we are stressed and picks us up when we are feeling down. Today most of us just listen to music, which is wonderful, but in the past and for most of our existence we all engaged in music. Fifty thousand years ago music making was an unremarkable event: everyone engaged with music. Contrary to common belief we are all ‘musical’…well actually about 2% of the worlds population suffer from a brain disorder called Amusia, that distorts musical sound in our brains, but the rest of us, believe it or not are musical.

Paradoxically you don’t have to like music to be musical.

Being musical is innate; it is hard wired into our brain. This means it is part of our survival kit. It is not about being able to sing or even enjoying making music. It is something as basic as eating and sleeping. Hard to even imagine that. For years philosophers and scientists, musicians, artists and scholars from a wide range of disciplines have tried to understand what this music stuff is. Why it impacts on our mind, our body, and soul so powerfully and have come up with all sorts or reasons. Today with fMRI scans we are beginning get a lot of solid answers.

Oner thing is clear: Actively engaging with musical sound, whether its singing in the shower or being a violin player in an orchestra, is really good for your body and mind health. (It’s not about ‘good’ or ‘bad’ music, that is aesthetics and is another function in our brain.) Simply engaging actively with musical sound impacts massively on our well-being, much more then passively listening to music.

Following are some links that expand on all of this, from blog posts within our site and external links. Before that I will throw out a short list of ‘why music making is good for you’ just to get you thinking:

Engaging in music on a regular basis is great because it:

  • improves long term memory
  • Improves and enriches cognitive functions
  • Speeds up connections between the left and right sides of the brain
  • Enhances social cohesion
  • Builds self confidence
  • Decreases stress levels

And this is just the tip of the iceberg

Music making is not about playing well or badly, or what style of music you engage with: actively engaging with musical sound, is what impacts on the brain…or put another way, the process of actually generating a sound wave, a note on the piano or a button on an app, or banging a jar, all lead to the same positive outcomes if you create musical sound on a regular basis.

1) The Surprising Benefits of Making Music Your Hobby– From Horus Music

This is a great overview written in laymen’s language that talks about music making as a hobby and its benefits

‘….If you are looking for a new hobby, music should top your list as the health and wellness benefits are remarkable. Music is capable of raising states of consciousness, changing your mood, developing the brain, lowering stress levels and accessing different states of the mind. Making music your new hobby can heal your body and your soul, making you a happier, well-rounded person’.  To continue reading…

2)  Hats of to the scientists

one of our posts that talks about the ‘music centre’ in our brain, proving that we are all innately musical.

‘Professors and researchers at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) have discovered and proved the existence of an anatomically distinct “music centre” in the brain (1). This has long eluded scientists, leading them and other commentators to dismiss music as “auditory cheesecake”(2), a function that relies on many other brain faculties but not important enough to have evolved on its own. Essentially, music has been perceived as a secondary human function and not significant in human evolution.’  To continue reading…

3) 10 reasons making music is good for your brain   ‘It doesn’t matter if you’ve always played or you’re just getting started’

Great summary: Ten  short, clear understandings regarding our well-being and music

‘…Researchers are still discovering all the ways that making music enriches your brain, but the impact is undeniable. So dust off that old guitar from college. Unpack your grade-school clarinet. Join a neighbourhood jam or kick back at home, just you and your favourite instrument. And by all means encourage your kids to learn to play music, too, as it will be bring all the benefits below plus critical thinking skills.’ To continue reading…