Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Music Makes You Smarter

Music Makes you Smarter

Deciding to take on this huge weigh-loss adventure was done this time in a very methodical manner. As a trained classical musician I have received decades of professional training from some of the world’s best teachers. Classical music training is by far the most labor intensive activity. Of course the one hour lesson once a week is the highlight of your efforts, but the many hours alone during the week are the most important. Practicing every day, in my younger years from 2 – 5 hours a day, takes total dedication. No one is sitting beside in your practicing studio and telling you to practice. Becoming a profession musician is the best training in the world for self discipline. Not to mention the fact that learning to concentrate is as equally important.

When I started this diet, it goes with out saying that I needed to look for the best teacher possible to train me. A Teacher that knew about my body type, was properly educated themselves, and was able to guide me into properly doing exercises with results. Physical training is not much different than musical training as far as muscle development is concerned. Brass players highly develop there facial muscles as well as there abdominals. Breathing also plays a big role. Physical training, I now discovered, is even more labor intense, as you have so many more muscles to train! The results of proper training, is of course the scale at the end of the week, but more importantly noticing things like, going up the stairs without getting out of breath. A combination of less weight to tote up the stairs, stronger abdominals and legs muscles that are fighting gravity in a more efficient way!

Not to mention the repetition that is entirely comparable to musical training. I have practiced those same orchestral passages for years and years. Playing those same scales for years and years, is not any different then the repetition of the different exercises you do at the gym. But with the repetition, in both cases, music and exercise, the results are, you get better and better ever time you practice it!!

Of course the other end results of music is the pleasure of the concert you get to perform, or the solo you played in front of a audience of hundreds or thousands of classical music lovers. The end result of the practicing at the gym is your own self gratification and a huge boost in self acceptance!

Losing weight, and taking care of you body, is, and can be the most important thing you do with your life. Of course all the scientific data supports diet and exercise and has proven it will lengthen your life by years! Not to mention, you won’t spend the last 15 years of your life in a retirement home, all stiff and non-functional.

There is a women I met 7 years ago, who is the sister of my horn teacher, she is 79 years old and is the most fit and active women I have ever met. She plays tennis 5 days a week and swims a half hour every day! She is my hero and my shinning example of how you can spend your senior years. With her diet and intensive exercise, but fun, exercise, she is still traveling the world, walking up and down the steep hills of Italy or taking long walks in the black forest of Germany or swimming with Dolphins in the Caribbean. With her long standing exercise regime, she has also kept her mind active and clear. She is even still working in her law firm on a part time bases; she reads and understands very complicated legal issues and documents. Just because you’re a senior it doesn’t mean you should stop all your excising and mental activities. She is what I hope to become when hit my senior years! A true mentor and hero in all sense of the words.

There’s a famous saying that I always tell parents of potential horn students: “Music makes you Smarter!” - this is totally true for all ! But not all have or can play an instrument or have the opportunity too.

BUT on the other hand, absolutely every one can exercise!

So this saying can be adapted and read: “Physical Training and exercise makes you Smarter!”

** when I hit my goal weight, I hope to start to learn how to play tennis, and play many games with my senior hero! That will be our public performance!


Paul said...

My favourite word in this blog is "fun"... I think that is the key to a healthy life. Exercise that is lonely drudgery and dull tasteless food will sink anyone's efforts at good health. Somehow we have to find the balance of all the elements. Fortunately, it's not impossible.

Anonymous said...

I like the comparison you make between studying classical music and exercising. But for me, the concentration and self discpline required for both, are hard to maintain within the realms of exercise. As good as a am concentrating on everything that has to do with (classical) singing: I hate exercise!! I hate the music in the training facilities, I hate the puffing and panting (makes my vocal chords dry out) I hate the smell of sweat (other people's, I mean) and I hate the confrontation with my being unable to stop moaning and just doing what has to be done. I am 1.76m in length, and too heavy with my 112 kilos. If you don't mind, Wendy, I'll use your today's blog as a severe reminder to get on with it.

Anonymous said...

Wendy! I love the link between your music and physical training. I am so happy to be a part of this experience with you! I read all your blogs and this is a lifestyle change for you which you are fully commited to! Keep it up and you will get there! See you on tuesday and have an amazing weekend!love sylvie