The Healing and Rehabilitative Power of Making Music

music-medicineDid you know that we now have medical research giving us conclusive evidence that adults who participate in Recreational Music Making programs experience extraordinary lifestyle benefits? Studies show that recreational music making strengthens the immune system, improves mood states, reduces burnout, and reduces stress on the genomic level (to name a few). Music has always possessed healing and therapeutic qualities. There are ancient accounts that serve as testimony of how music had a healing effect, for example, the biblical account found in 1 Samuel 16:14-23. The story tells us that Saul, King of Israel, was tormented by an evil spirit and would be relieved of this torment when David played the lyre before him. The idea that music is related to healing was even present in Greek mythology; Apollo was both the god of music and medicine.

So what exactly is Recreational Music Making?

“Recreational Music Making refers to any form of music making that is not based on mastery of performance. Recreational Music Making encompasses enjoyable, accessible and fulfilling group music-based activities that unite people of all ages regardless of their challenges, backgrounds, ethnicity, ability or prior experience. RMM ultimately affords unparalleled creative expression that unites our bodies, minds and spirits.” Karl Bruhn, Father of the Music Making and Wellness movement.

The word “Recreational” gets it’s meaning from the latin word recreatio which means to refresh or restore, recovery from illness, to refresh by physical influence. Recreational Music Making (RMM) programs are group music programs that emphasize quality of life and non-musical outcomes rather than competition or heightened performance. The class setting of an RMM program creates a social support dynamic that also contributes to the enhancement of one’s quality of life. RMM programs are a powerful catalyst for quality of life improvements that lead to better health and rehabilitation.

How can RMM lead to better health and rehabilitation?

The best rehab techniques and/or tools can be limited by one’s desire to improve or belief that one can improve.  RMM positively enhances your body, mind and spirit by, not only, activating healing and preventive care processes in your body, but also by setting up the stage to make rehabilitative care even more effective and successful.  RMM programs are being set up around the nation for this purpose.  Participants of an RMM study at Wesbury United Methodist Retirement Community in Meadville, PA reported that RMM produced far more favorable effects when compared with antidepressants or mood-stabilizing drugs.  Another study found that RMM led to improved quality of life for inner-city youth in a court-referred treatment program.

Recreational Music Making programs are being developed around the nation and The Rio Grande Valley is no exception.  Musical Living Academy offers Recreational Piano Classes for Adults that have the desire to learn to play the piano while enjoying all these non-musical benefits in their lives. Come experience this fun and relaxing way to learn to play!

 

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