News • 14 Apr 2019

Why playing a musical instrument is good for your mind

Open Minds runs a weekly music group at the Wynnum Bandstand, where anyone experiencing mental illness is welcome to get up on stage and perform. Here’s why playing a musical instrument is good for your mind.

It’s no secret that if you live with a mental illness, staying socially active helps to counter isolation and contribute towards your recovery journey.

Learning to play a musical instrument, and practicing what you’ve learnt, has also been proven to make you more mentally alert according to research done by a University of Montreal study.

Playing a musical instrument can also help to strengthen memory, according to The Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University.

Various studies have shown that music has been shown to reduce stress, increase productivity, develop creativity, and build confidence.

With this in mind, why not head on down to the Open Minds Music Group every Wednesday from 12-2pm at the Wynnum Bandstand, 55 Lower Esplanade, Manly QLD 4179.

All members of the public who experience mental illness are welcome to join in to either watch or perform on stage, each week we have a great crowd.

We provide some basic instruments, however you are welcome to bring your own along.

Jason Hand, one of the Open Minds Support Workers who helps to run the group, said: “Music is a really wonderful way to connect with others, especially if you suffer from anxieties such as meeting new people or going to new places.  Some of our regular performers get up and sing and play instruments each week, however when they’re not enjoying the music group they can be incredibly shy and lacking in confidence.  We just love watching the different elements of music have such a positive influence in people’s lives.” 

Volunteer and participant at the Open Mind Music Group, Linda, said: “This music group is important because it helps people form friendships and to know that they’re not alone in the community. I live with depression and some days I just can’t get out of bed, but on Wednesdays I always get out of bed to come along to the music group because it gives us all a sense of belonging.”

Linda has been participating at the Music Group for over six years on the keyboard and vocals.

MP for Lytton, Joan Pease, regularly attends the performances and kindly donated two marquees to provide shade for spectators.

Joan said: “This is a wonderful group. Music really is good for the mind and soul, and what better location than by the beautiful bay. Every time I approach when the group are performing, the music really puts a smile on my face.”

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