Give the gift of musical instruments this holiday season

Give the gift of musical instruments this holiday season

(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 could.
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 problem-solving skills.
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.