October 20, 2009
(NewsUSA) – In this day and age, where gifts are forgotten in
favor of the next "new thing" almost as soon as they're unwrapped, choosing meaningful gifts can
prove challenging. Giving a gift of experience, however, will last a lifetime. And few experiences
prove more meaningful than a musical education.
The vast majority of people wish that they could play a musical instrument.
According to a 2009 Gallup poll conducted by NAMM, the trade association of the international music
products industry, 85 percent of the Americans who do not play musical instruments wish that they
And no wonder. Not only does music offer a fun personal outlet, but study after study
reports its benefits. Infants who are sung to are more content, sleep better and have an overall
better sense of well-being than other babies. In schoolchildren, a musical education can improve
performance in other areas of study. In one study, children who received one year of musical
training demonstrated improved memory. Art programs help children develop critical-thinking and
Don't think that music's benefits diminish with age. Playing an instrument helps
adolescents and teenagers cope with peer pressure, substance abuse, academic stress and loss.
Music helps everyone, even boomers over age 45. For workers, playing music reduces stress and
helps alleviate depression. For seniors, music improves health and wellness while providing a
recreational and social outlet.
So, what's the best way to give the gift of music to a loved one? NAMM suggests
purchasing a musical instrument -; the gift will provide a lifetime of enrichment. Arranging music
lessons is another meaningful gift. Consider purchasing a gift certificate for music lessons,
either in lieu of or along with a musical instrument. To find music lessons near you, use the
Lesson Locator, a database of lesson providers and stores at www.wannaplaymusic.com.