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Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

Music and Its Benefit to Communities

Playing music can be used to benefit our hearts, our minds and our communities. From healing emotional wounds to spreading joy, music is a language that we can all appreciate. Certain songs can trigger memories or help us to remember significant moments in our lives. They can also aid in calming, revitalizing, and inspiring us.

Music can also help strengthen the bond between individuals and groups of people — whether it be within a family, friend group or local neighborhood. The power of playing or listening to music together can serve as a tool for bonding with another person or group of people that you likely wouldn’t otherwise experience.

Learning a New Language

The importance of live music is visible across for all ages, and it’s easy to learn how to play an instrument with a bit of practice and determination. You do not have to be a musical savant to participate in playing music with somebody else. You can learn a few simple guitar chords or phrases that can be strung together with another person’s talent to create a beautiful song. By sharing this song with those in your community, you are able to form deep connections than could have been possible through an everyday conversation.

This Is Your Brain on Music

No matter your age, playing music has wonderful effects on your brain. If you once learned how to play an instrument but haven’t played it in a while, call up some of your friends and set up a makeshift band in your garage. You and your old buddies will increase the capacity of your memory, dust off your math and organizational skills, and awaken your reading and comprehension skills. According to Inc., playing music improves executive function which “…covers critical tasks like processing and retaining information, controlling behavior, making, and problem-solving.” Influencing each other to take these steps towards preserving your cognitive fitness will bring you closer together and create a positive bond between you and your band members.

Playing With the Band

Starting up a band can invoke feelings of insecurity and vulnerability at first, but if you can push past the initial feelings of fear of putting yourself out there you may reap the rewards by further integrating yourself into a loving community. Committing to a band or joining a choir requires you to attach yourself to a small amount of responsibility. It is a beneficial practice for you and your band members to have. It also requires you to put your time management skills into practice. Missing one or two practices will happen, but if it happens too often, you’ll find yourself playing solo. Remember that your contributions to the band are also a contribution to your community that is waiting to hear your songs.

Music Therapy

Music can also serve as a healing tool and is used in various therapy and counseling practices. You don’t necessarily have to be playing the music yourself for you and your community to receive the benefits. Simply listening to it or dancing to it, can also help to bring your community together. The practice of esthetic dance, also known as dance movement therapy (DMT), has been used to help ease bouts with depression, encourage socialization, and influence positive body image in participants. Commonly, esthetic dance includes a varied playlist of songs that stir a wide range of emotions. Your body is used as a means of expression, done without any physical contact with the other participants.

Playing music together harnesses a sense of inclusiveness and acceptance that, as humans, we naturally search for throughout many areas of our lives. The connections that you can make by playing music with another person can aid in fostering lifelong friendships. There are many ways that you can connect with music and your community. By playing it, listening to it, or dancing to it, you can foster a safe space in which your community can congregate and speak the same language — the language of music.

Tim Esterdahl

Tim Esterdahl is the editor of IFCS blog. He is a married father of three and enjoys golf in his spare time.

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