Popularity of classical music will never fade and neither will its power ever be doubted in having its effect on us.
Surely, tastes differ and change; some people learn to understand and enjoy classical music from early childhood, others have talent to its performance, and some others develop liking to symphonies much later in life. But mostly, everyone can benefit from a nice Saturday evening cello concert or even from a short aria or a piece of waltz listened at home.
Senior citizens definitely can. In fact, there have been much proof that listening to music in general and classical music in particular produces huge benefit for older adults. Needless to mention, it is also one of the best sources of entertainment (which is often both free and unlimited, for example, ClassicFM Radio.)
Among the revelations of the recent studies are the following: classical music is great for stress alleviation, it's a definite source of positive emotions, and a concert is also a brilliant communication and socialization field for seniors. Truth to be told, there is not really much research-proved information on the effect of classical music on senior brain function. Yet, the existing music-related studies' results are sufficiently trustorthy. Here are some of them:
Improved Cognitive Function
One of the recent studies, namely, the research from Sapienza University (Rome) showed that people who listened to Mozart demonstrated changes in the brain wave activities related to intelligence, memory and problem solving. This "Mozart effect" has been noticed both in kids and seniors, and it is all the more surprising.
Music therapy has long been used in many recovery programs and there is a good reason for it. It has been proved capable of bringing about a particular alternation to a person's state. And this fact has been recently proved once again, this time in relation to dementia patients. As Music and Memory program shows, the experience of music is very powerful for senior people with such a diagnosis.
Blood Pressure and Cardiovascular Problems
Researchers from Italy (University of Pavia) managed to find a link between Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and the levels of blood pressure. It appears that classical music pieces are in sync with a person's natural body rhythm. Thus, listening to a piece of classical music helps keeping blood pressure levels normal.
Besides, German researchers found out that listening to classical music help patients recover better and faster after open-heart surgery due to lower levels of cortisol in their systems. The same researchers claim that listening to the same classical pieces can be beneficial on the pre-surgery stages as the sessions produce calming effect on patients and make them less nervous.
Many people have problems falling asleep as they grow older. Many seniors suffer from insomnia. Thus, having a nice piece of instrumental music before going to bed can be really helpful in this case. Here is the list of ideas to lull yourself to sleep:
Claude Debussy - Claire de Lune
Johann Sebastian Bach - Air on the G String
Frederic Chopin - Berceuse in D flat opus 57
Ludwig van Beethoven - Sonata No. 14 "Moonlight"
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - Piano Concerto in C major K 467
Gustav Mahler - Symphony No. 5
Bela Bartok - Piano Concerto No. 3
Classical music is definitely just one of the many music options that one can choose from. Music in general is a great type of activity for all seniors to enjoy, in all its shapes and genres, none of them are worse or less effective than the other, not in the slightest. It's just up to one's taste what to choose.
If you have been wondering where to find inspiration and relaxation tracks, here is a very comprehensive guide on music benefits for seniors and also a number of tips on how to choose music and where to get the ideas for every occasion and age.
However, for the classic music lovers who prefer listeningto it live and live in Seattle, here is the list of the concert schedules:
For more active seniors who want to learn not just to listen but to play there are music classes. Surely, those are not really common, however, local universities can have something on offer, and there are also private lessons to try.