Music for Vital Aging

The Bea Boomer’s Wellness Project – Day 30 – 3/11/15

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In my recent post, May I have this Dance, I mentioned that I’d been listening to a new radio station, Alt Nation.  My twenty-something daughter introduced me to that station after I subscribed to Sirius radio. As a Detroiter, I’ve always leaned toward Motown music, the sixties and of course, classic rock from the seventies.  But recently, I’ve been wanting to introduce some new music to my brain.  My musical tastes are in a time warp, and I need to shake it up a little!

The old songs we listen to have a way of evoking long-forgotten memories, good times, old friends and loved ones. The song “Isn’t Life Strange,” from Blues album, Seventh Sojourn, always makes me think about my brother, who died unexpectedly in April of 2000. Other songs bring back memories of great (and not so great) times of my angst-ridden teenage years.   

Would you want to live without music? I sure wouldn’t. Imagine a movie without music in the background, developing the mood of that particular scene. Imagine seeing a bride walking down the aisle without hearing that familiar tune that defines a wedding. Not having lullabies to sing your child to sleep, nor songs that make us want to get up and dance with abandon. . . . Life would definitely be strange!

For me, there’s no denying that music is a part of vital aging – just because it brings pleasure to our lives.  

There’s also some scientific evidence that shows it benefits our emotional wellness and our brains.  A DocShop TV video helps visualize the ways that music benefits our health, no matter what our age.  For example, listening to music can lower our blood pressure.  

Other research talks about how music can boost our mood.  (Not that I needed any research to realize that) I just discovered a new song, My Typeby a group called Saint Motel, and it makes me want to move in a way that vaguely resembles dancing.  I have my daughter to thank for that, since if it wasn’t for her, I’d be listening to the same old, same old tunes! 

 For Further Reading:

Your Brain (and Health) On Music

Bea has loved the song Europa by the guitarist extraordinaire Carlos Santana ever since she first heard it on his Moonflower album.  In 1976, she went to a concert at one of those long-gone concert venues in the Motor City (now known as “The D”) and sat in awe as she watched Carlos perform that song – the music going right through to her core.  It was simply one of those moments she’ll never forget.

Fast forward to Bea’s family room, January 2011.  This room has become Mr. Boomer’s concert venue of choice.  Recently, Mr. B. attempted to play Europa on his Les Paul electric guitar. All. Day. Long. Okay, so now Bea is just sick to death of her favorite tune and hopes she never hears it again.

Rock on, Mr. B.

In the past year, after a long hiatus, Mr. Boomer has really gotten into playing his guitar.  Bea envies and admires his ability to play “by ear,” something the Boomer daughter has inherited.  Mrs. B. has no musical ability – she likes to sing, but she ain’t fooling herself, she’s no American Idol.  What she lacks in talent, however, she makes up for in chutzpah (read: she sings loudly).

The hubby has also gotten together with friends from his workplace to “jam” together, and he jokes about taking his new group “Social Insecurity,” on the road.  (Great name, hmmm?  He made that one up himself).

Despite the fact that he’s ruined Bea’s favorite song for her, she thinks Mr. B. is really onto something with this guitar playing.  He’s enhancing his social wellness, by getting together with “the guys.”  Music also can reduce his job-related or wife-related stress, and even keep those brain cells alive and kicking.  In fact, according to the eMed Expert website, playing music can even make him smarter!

For Further Reading: