Music and stress relief go hand and hand. Learning to play an instrument gets your brain in shape making stress management so much easier.
When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout. The positive links between music and stress are even more clear than they used to be.
Help your high performance child develop lifelong stress management skills by learning to play a musical instrument.
The brain is such a key area of stress management. So many aspects of your stress management system exist within the areas of the brain. The hippocampus, located in the brain, is responsible for consolidating information, ensuring your memory functioning and helping you with navigation. The amygdala, located at the back on the brain helps control your anxiety level. The brain is also the source of Dopamine and Oxytocin, your feel good and trust hormones. If your brain is not getting an active workout and is left to just sit around for extended periods of time, then everything doesn't work quite as well.
It's a lot like physical exercise for your body. If you don't use your body, then you begin to fall apart. If you sit still for too long, your muscles tend to atrophy and your bones become more brittle. If you don't use your joints all the time, then the next time you go to stand up or do something physical, you really feel it.
It is so easy to learn to play an instrument in today's day and age. My youngest daughter learned to play the guitar by watching YouTube videos. We went out and bought her a guitar at one of the discount superstores and she within a couple of weeks she was playing full songs. Now she has quite a significant repertoire after just one year. Both of my children have also been taking piano lessons for nearly a decade and they're both high functioning intelligent children with excellent stress management skills.
When you research the term “music and stress” on the Internet or in books, you will often find references to music therapy, sound therapy or a list of the stress relief benefits of listening to music; here is one example of a site that does just that. This is all incredibly important, of course, and you will find references to music therapy research on this page of my website as well. I am certainly not discounting music or music therapy as a key stress management tool.
However, watching this video woke me up a little and I recognized yet another simple example of how managing stress or coping with stress may not be enough, especially under the onslaught of stress in today’s world. I think this video really shows how being proactive in developing all the amazing tools you have at your disposal to really get a strong handle on stress. If you have a strong, vibrant, healthy brain, then you can’t help but be better at managing all types of stress.
With kids, the world just gets crazier and crazier each day. If you are raising children in the 21st century and you would like them to grow up to be high performance adults or even moderately successful adults, then developing the brain is a critically important decision you must make when they are very young. This video clearly shows how learning to play a musical instrument is a major link between music and stress management.