Seniors Rock!


My husband and I are back in the Rio Grande Valley for about six weeks, to enjoy the warmer weather and touch base with old friends. Our second night back, we had the opportunity to attend a concert given by a group of about 50 seniors (55 and older) who are winter Texans (snowbirds), and play together every winter.

The concert was amazing. I had gone expecting the group to sound like a high school band, with lots of potential but needing more time playing together. I didn’t think a band that was only able to practice together for 3-4 months a year could bring it on with a high-quality performance. But that is exactly what we got.

As I was looking over the gray heads (and some bald ones too!), I was appreciating what belonging to this band was doing for each member’s health – physically, mentally, and emotionally.

      • Something to do: Tom Bodett said one of the three things a person needs to be happy is “something to do.” From the quality of the performance, I imagine the director handed out the music for the next winter before the end of last year’s performance season. And you could tell, these folks had practiced.
      • Improves memory: Memory loss and forgetfulness are often viewed as inevitable side effects as we grow older. Actually, the opposite is true. A recent study showed that individuals between the ages of 60 and 85 exhibited improved memory retention after six months of regular piano lessons.
      • Maintain motor skills: Playing a dulcimer requires both hands to work at the same time, but with each doing something different. That’s kinda like trying to chew gum and walk. If you can strum the mountain dulcimer and press the right strings with your other hand, or coordinate your hammers on the hammered dulcimer … WELL done.
      • A good mood booster: There was a study that followed adults ages 65 and older who played music and a control group that did not. The study found that individuals who regularly played music reported higher self-esteem, a feeling of greater independence, and fewer feelings of isolation as compared to those who did not.
      • Great fellowship: A great concern for seniors is that so many are living alone in this season of their lives. The members of this band all lived at different RV and mobile home parks through the valley, so they met people with whom they would never have crossed paths except for their love of playing music.
      • Brain work: Most of the seniors I know do crossword puzzles, jig-saw puzzles, and other games on their devices … just to stimulate their brains and slow down aging. Playing an instrument does the same thing.

      If you’re getting this newsletter, you’re already playing an instrument. I just wanted to encourage you to keep on keepin’ on. It pays high dividends.
        Happy dulcimering,




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