Needless to say there has been much said and written about ringing in the year, the year in review, pictures of 2014 and of course the ever popular resolutions. Personally we like what the Washington Post had to say yesterday, about it being more fun to break resolutions. However, now that we are all a bit older and definitely wiser, our choices have become much more healthy and pragmatic to some degree.
We tried to come up with some practical and healthy self promises (Nurse Carol was pushing for those too… drink more water, exercise, get more sleep and of course, “get that flu shot!”) and we are not saying those are bad ideas…but we’d like to plan on something we know will be enjoyable, and obtainable.
RockNRollBride said resolutions should be done year round and more focused on trying new things and/or enjoying those things you love. We like that. A lot. We think that keeps us young and there is research that proves it. So, for 2015, the agreed upon collective goal for Alive & Kickin is to bring more music into our lives … we resolve to experience and embrace more music endeavors and we hope you will consider joining us.
It just so happens that there are numerous ways to enjoy and experience music – especially in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. We are in luck! As artists and musicians we know that creativity and musical expression is what keeps us young and vibrant so it just seems like a win-win all around. So, not only will we be enjoying music but we will be keeping mentally healthy as well. Research from John Hopkins indicates this is indeed true.
“There are few things that stimulate the brain the way music does,” says Charles J. Limb, M.D., Johns Hopkins otolaryngologist, who also happens to play the saxophone, piano and bass. “If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.”
Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory. Say no more!
To learn more about brain-music connection research findings visit John Hopkins site. Super interesting.
The overall message is to hit the gym if you want to firm up your body. If you want to exercise your brain, listen and experience music. We are going to be so strong this year! Here are some ideas of how we are bringing more music (and brain benefits) into our lives:
Many options out there now outside of just the radio. Of course we love our entertainment talk at myTalk 107.1FM but when we are looking for online music there is no place like pandora.com. Spotify.com are two wonderful online services that give you FREE access to MILLIONS of songs and hundreds of radio stations all over the globe. These services are free with advertisements or low cost to join without advertising. Join and immediately listen to the oldies and goodies and/or what your kids or grandkids are listening to. Both provide benefits so says Dr. Limb.
It goes without saying, but improving our memories is always a good thing and reliving moments of the past through music can be pretty great as well. When we reach for familiar music and listen to songs of our youth and step back in time, these connections help exercise our brain.
Listening to new music really gives the brain a workout “New music challenges the brain in a way that old music doesn’t,” Limb says. It might not feel pleasurable at first, but that unfamiliarity forces the brain to struggle to understand the new sound, he says. And if the Dr. says, then Nurse Carol can’t argue with that!
Try something new. If you’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano again or try a new instrument there is no better time than now! Our friends at MacPhail have a great program going on right now for seniors 55+ Music for Life. We have friends who have tried this and raved about it. Check it out!
Or come out and experience live music for yourself. The Twin Cities music scene continues to rock with some of the best artists in the country, an array of choices all across the metro and beyond. Coffee shops, big venues, and our plethora of theaters are full of talent and moving musical experiences. For keeping updated on live music and theater events the calendars at City Pages and Star Tribune can’t be beat.
Your very own rockin senior ensemble will soon be seen in those publications as we make a concerted effort to obtain our goals of more music mayhem this year. Alive & Kickin will be taking the stage, touring, playing new music and we will also going out to see live shows as well. Follow us on Fb to keep up with our musical antics and join us in the fun. We’d love to have you along for the ride.
Stay Young, Friends and Happy New Year!
Alive & Kickin Cast & Crew
P.S. We have been secretly planning a super cool live music event with famous Twin Cities musicians. MARK YOUR CALENDARS for Feb 19th 2105…Varsity Theater. Tickets will go on sale to our VIP Alive & Kickin fans on Monday, January 4th and on sale to the general public on Thursday, January the 8th. More details to come!