Monthly Archives: May 2010

Music And Aging, II

This hit my e-mail today.  Music is just one of the arts encouraged here:

 San Francisco – May 20, 2010 – Ever wondered why creativity and learning are so important for the older brain? National Center for Creative Aging (NCCA) will answer this question and highlight innovative lifelong learning arts programs at the “NCCA-MetLife Foundation Creativity Matters: Lifelong Learning Through the Arts” symposium. The one-day event will be held in San Francisco, California on Tuesday, June 15 from 9am – 4pm at the Community School of Music and Arts Finn Center, and will focus on the benefits of utilizing arts programs throughout the later years of life, as well as how to develop lifelong learning programs in various art mediums, including storytelling, theater, and music.

Check out more details at


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Filed under Events and Calendar, Music and Aging

It’s All About Makin’ Music

This past week, 60 Minutes did a piece on the new artistic director of the Los Angeles Symphony and his drive to bring more music into urban schools.   There were a lot of claims made about music providing discipline, hope, and a way out for children who live in seemingly hopeless situations.

A quick search on the web turns up a lot of studies about the effect of music on older adults.  One, published a few years ago jointly by professors at the University of Miami and Michigan State University, found that participating in group keyboard lessons caused Human Growth Hormone levels to skyrocket in older adults.  HGH is one of the new “wonder compounds”, given credit for making people feel better, have better muscle tone, and fighting the visible signs of aging.   Check it out at  Now that’s a cheap alternative to plastic surgery!

If you are looking for more incentive, check out, a website that defines midlife musicians like me as “recreational music makers” or people who enjoy “playing musical instruments alone or in a group without the goals of mastery or performance.”   They have links to teachers and other resources to get your juices running.

The site is affiliated with Making Music Magazine, which has a pretty nifty website of its own at  Southeast Michigan’s own Mitch Albom is featured on this month’s cover.   Be sure to check out their interactive map of summer music camps.  Also, check out the Hollywood stars who are also “recreational musicians.”

And keep playing.   The weather is better — so take it outdoors!

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Filed under Inspiration, Music and Aging, Opportunities to Play