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Michele Roger / Blog

Why Musicians May Have Higher Quality of Life

Except from the Huffington Post: "Want to keep your mind healthy and sharp throughout your life? Pick up an instrument. A new study found that musicians might have brains that function better than their peers well into old age. Bet you wished you stuck with those piano lessons after all.

Researchers tested the mental abilities of senior citizens and discovered that musicians performed better at a number of tests. In particular, musicians excelled at visual memory tasks. While musicians had similar verbal capabilities to non-musicians, the musicians' abilities to memorize new words was remarkedly better. Perhaps, most importantly, the musicians' IQ scores were higher overall than those who spent their lives listening to music rather than performing it.

The experience of musicians also played a role in how sharp their minds were. The younger the musicians began to play their instruments, the better their minds performed at the mental tasks. Additionally, the total number of years musicians played their instruments throughout their life corresponded with how strong their brains remained years later.

The study also found that musicians who took the time to exercise between symphonies had an even higher-functioning brain capacity. This finding supports another recent study that reported people who walk regularly maintain healthier brains. With that in mind, perhaps joining a marching band now will make you the smartest person in the retirement home in the future.

Celtic and Classical

Having a foot in two worlds as a harpist, I thought I should update folks on the latest. For the last two months, I've been playing in a new duet group called "The Fenns". It's been a nice chance to play some Irish harp music as well as play mandolin and do a little singing. We had such good feedback from our shows in March that we are considering a reverb page. More to come soon in the Celtic world. Presently, my classical album, Languid Sunday is being worked on in collaboration with UK pianist, Steve Nutt. We are hoping to release the new classical CD this spring.

Thanks to everyone who came out this month to listen to our concerts and give us great feedback. Your support of local live music makes all the difference!

Writing Music for Film and Podcasting

For the past three years, I have written music for my own podcast (www.micheleroger.com) or other podcasters. Them something wonderful happened in Detroit last year. The film industry decided to do some work here. Suddenly film makers both big and small needed musicians and composers. None of us had really written anything like this before in our musical careers. But if you know Detroiters, we are a versitile bunch and we like to learn new genres.

Writing music for a visual media like film is like trying to support an idea in your head by speaking in a language that "is" music. Recently, I wrote the theme for a small, independent film called "Twist of Fate". I had a 2 sentence description of the movie and that's all I had to go on. From that, I wrote, performed and recorded my song called "Destiny". Take a listen and let me know what you think....