I used to play the flute and piccolo. I started in 6th grade and continued through to graduation with the school band- I even played a little on my own in my college days. Over the years, with the demands of raising a family, building a business, and everyday stress that goes along with life, playing music didn't seek like it should be a priority. It wasn't until one day- playing with my toddler- I realized how wrong I had been.
We were sitting on the floor and my daughter brought over her little Xylaphone. She started banging away at the toy, then handed me the wand and said "munis" (meaning music in her world). So I started to play: 'Twinkle Twinkle Little Star', 'Mary Had a Little Lamb', 'Joy to the World', anything I could think of. We sat there for twenty minutes- a lifetime for an 18 month old- just playing and re-playing songs. It was the most realxed I'd felt in months. All from a toy Xylaphone. So I started doing research.
I found out music- especially making music yourself- helps to turn off your body's stress response. When you are stressed the brain flips a switch and tells every cell in your body to start producing cortisol (the stress hormone). When you play music, the switch is turned off making you feel more relaxed. And here's the best part: it doesn't matter if it sounds good or not, the simple fact that you are making noise is enough to make your body respond.
Sounds good right! Whether it be an instrument you found in your child's playroom, or an instrument of your own- sounding like Mozart or not- get makeing music and relieve some stress in your life. Now where did I put that flute case?