Check out the “Let it Snow” Xmas 2020 Group youtube project!”
I don't think too many of us, who play an instrument, actually sit back & ponder over what marvelous things are taking place in our brains while we are playing... and what are the benefits?
Fireworks in the brain is a good example. It’s just what it sometimes feels when you are trying to figure out some difficult point in your sheet music. 😄 Or when you succeed with it. 🎉
Actually I have read couple of articles, that playing an instrument will help kids to learn mathematics and other school subjects too, because their brains has more connections and are used to use more capasity.
There’s lots of research out there about how music affects the brain. I didn’t take up the violin until my 40s, & sometimes I wish I had done it sooner. Honestly though, I probably wouldn’t have spent the time on it if I had started earlier. I probably would not appreciate it the way I do now.
Figuring out how to play something satisfies the aspect of what I did when I worked where I needed to problem solve, troubleshoot, etc., like what Ilona says above about trying to figure out some difficult point in the music.
But there is also a different thing with the playing—the immediacy of the moment that is not comparable to anything else. Maybe it’s new neural pathways developing in the brain like the research indicates, the “fireworks”. I don’t know.
Then I walk into a room with a purpose, and forget what it was I was going to do. Guess that’s just my brain telling me it’s time to go practice.
Music has become singularly important for me because of the mental challenges it brings; these I am assured by the 'experts' will keep my mind fresher as it ages.
We all have our own reasons for playing violin, viola, cello or bass; but I think we all share the meditative state these wooden boxes put us in once we touch the strings with our bows.
"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less" - William of Ockham
"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great
Ilona, SharonC, Peter -
Problem solving, troubleshooting and a meditative state... don't we also seem to get "immediate" gratification in those areas while playing our violin/fiddle? (viola & cello, also)
Is it also possible that in the act of playing our instruments our brains essentially release more mood-enhancing endorphins?
There have been studies done that show positive interaction with a pet (petting your dog or CAT) can boost endorphins and maybe act like re-uptake inhibitors (SSRI's & SNRI's) for mood-elevating neurotransmitters. This can relieve stress, maybe anxiety & depression or just give us a sense of purpose & well-being!
Maybe this is why we name our fiddles?
Thought I'd take this thread in a little different direction.
A recent discussion (my home) started all this after learning about 40Hz actually helping to REVERSE Alzheimer's using light with sound! Here's the 2019 article in Scientific American.
Cats purr mostly in the 27-44 Hz range (40Hz!), but up to 150Hz!
I've now read from several reliable sources that faster, more complete Bone Healing takes place when exposed to 1-50Hz!
Seems there are all sorts of claims online about different frequencies having beneficial effects on us humans.
BillyG presented a chart elsewhere, showing frequencies found in nature, I believe - suggesting what frequencies we might like to hear/corresponding to our instruments.
I got to thinking about how the frequencies we play might physically effect us & down the rabbit hole I went!
Frequencies of our Brain Waves and their effects!
D#1+49cents=40Hz. I knew there was I reason I seem to want to play off a bit! (lol)
Violin strings are G3=196Hz, D4=293.7Hz, A4=440Hz, E5=659.3Hz
Viola strings are C3=130.8Hz, G3=196Hz, D4=293.7Hz, A4=440Hz
Cello strings are C2=65.41Hz, G2=98Hz, D3=146.8Hz, A3=220Hz
Here you can find the frequency of any note.
Wondering if our harmonics have beneficial physical effects? I'm curious if there's been any research done on these combined frequencies - if they have any unique physical benefits for us, but no more time for this rabbit hole right now. (lol)
"The Overtone Series and Dissonance" from the YouTube Walk That Bass site. Great video about overtones, why certain music frequency intervals sound good and why some don't.
Compare some of the frequencies you enjoy playing to corresponding brain waves!
So much research has been done on using sound frequencies for different types of healing, like bone repair, etc.. (pertinent links later).
Maybe what we like is actually physically beneficial?
Just food for thought...
I dont know about neural pathways or anything, but I do know that I wish I had studied violin a lot earlier, I love it more than any other instrument I play, no idea really why. When I play, even if it sounds terrible to others, I dont care, it does something to me. Hitting note absolutely in tune is a great feeling, also vibrating the note actually does something to my mind like no other instrument does. maybe its impossible to play another instrument perfectly in tune, so hitting notes perfectly on violin resonates with something deeper in the consciousness.