Retirement: benefits of music in later life22 June 2016 Back to results
If you’ve recently taken the plunge into retirement, you may be questioning one of two things. You may find yourself wondering where you found the time to do all the things that now fill your time, or, on the other hand, you may be searching for ways to fill your now seemingly empty days.
Whether you have found yourself leap from retirement into a jam-packed schedule and are now looking for a way to relax, or you are searching for productive ways to fill your time, there are a many ways to make the most of your day.
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The phrase ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ may come to mind, but take no notice of that. (Note: We are certainly not calling you an old dog, by any means!)
Challenging yourself is key and learning a new skill, such as a musical instrument, does exactly that. Now, we can’t make any promises that you’ll play like Hendrix by the end of the year, but it’s certainly worth a shot in our book. After all, they don’t call retirement the golden years for nothing!
As you will know from our article Rolling Stones strike a chord for retirement in the UK, one of the themes that people associate with retirement is freedom. This freedom ultimately allows you the time to explore passions and interest that you may have neglected in the past.
A Musical Retirement
Music is a joy to listen to and whoever you are and whatever you spent your working life doing, it is likely that music has played a part in some way; listening to the radio on the way into work, your first dance or the first birthday of your child, it was all accompanied by your own personal soundtrack.
It may be unnerving to consider ticking the ivories later in life, or even learning to play an instrument that you have never before had the confidence to try, but everyone has to start somewhere.
For those of you who don’t consider yourself internet savvy, there are countless books to help you get started with an instrument or to teach you about reading music. If you have access to the internet, online lessons on YouTube could prove very useful indeed while music to help you practise can be downloaded from Online Sheet Music. If, like Anthony Hopkins, you fancy yourself as a bit of a composer, music composition software like Sibelius might be of interest.
“I hear the music in my head and slowly it starts developing and taking shape. Most of the music that I am now composing has been inside me for almost 45 years.”
– Sir Anthony Hopkins, Aged 78
There are countless benefits to ageing; greater knowledge and wisdom, clearer priorities, an increased sense of self-worth and an ability to manage emotions that so many of us lacked in our youth. While some are as fit as a fiddle, for others, dexterity and memory may falter in the later years. Activities such as learning an instrument or learning to read music can result in both great physical and mental benefits.
There’s no time like the present
Although the daily office pressures may no longer be an issue, a lack of focus and increased freedom can also be stressful. Listening to music, singing and playing an instrument can reduce blood pressure and help the body and mind relax, and as a result, reduce stress. It has been proven that music can bring health benefits(Opens new window) for many, including the ability to act as a memory trigger, reduce stress and alleviate pain.
“I believe that music in itself heals and that everything is about the power of the mind.”
- Andre Rieu, Aged 66
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Music in retirement doesn’t have to be a solo act
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Even the social butterflies among us like a change of scene now and again. By learning an instrument, joining a music group, taking a lesson or getting involved in the local music scene, you’ll be introduced to new opportunities and people – as will your family and friends. (You may now refer to them as groupies or superfans…)
As you move forward in your retirement, the key is to remember what you spent your life working for.
Whether you were driven by your pension pot, your salary, the dream of becoming debt free or the ability to provide for your children, the goal the along the way was always likely to be happiness. Retirement may have arrived, it may be just around the corner and the question is “What makes you happy”? If the answer is music; there is no time like the present. Could it be time to take a leaf out of Andre Rieu’s book, add another string to your bow and pick up a violin?