Throughout COVID-19 isolation, everyone has become aware of the supportive and stimulating power of music. Although many people want to learn, they have no access to musical instruments or tuition – especially with schools and shops currently closed. Today, charity Music for All has launched its new #444 initiative to raise much needed funds to support those with financial or access difficulties to making music.
Taking inspiration from music (did you know in today’s music chart most songs can be played using just four chords), donating £4 and encouraging 4 friends to do the same, the charity is encouraging music lovers across the country, no matter what their capabilities, to get involved and spread the joy of music whilst helping others.
Taking part in #444 is easy, simply:
• Record yourself playing at least one minute of your favourite piece of music and post it on social media – remember to tag @musicforallcharity and include #MusicforAll and #444challenge
• Donate £4 to Music for All via https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/444 , you can also ask your friends to show their appreciation by donating £4 too.
• Tag/nominate four friends to take on the challenge
Paul McManus, CEO at Music for All, said:
“Those already playing music know the enjoyment and life affirming qualities it can bring to our lives especially during these isolating and scary times. Even those who don’t play will undoubtedly have been listening to and enjoying music more. Our new #444 campaign will not only spread the joy of music and celebrate musicians’ performances, but also help us continue to support the many who simply can’t afford or don’t have access to musical instruments and lessons.”
Money raised from this initiative will be spent on instruments and tuition for disadvantaged individuals of all ages in the UK, as well as supporting community music groups and educational organisations in the UK.
Music for All is also keen to highlight the numerous health benefits that playing music brings. Just last year, the charity collated scientific research results which highlighted:
• Playing an instrument as a child leads to a sharper mind in old age: those who had played an instrument for a decade or longer scored significantly higher on tests to measure memory and other cognitive abilities than those with no musical background.1
• Higher intelligence: Children who received music lessons for one year gained an average of 2.7 IQ points more than a control group of children who did not over the same period, with particularly large increases in verbal ability, spatial ability, processing speed and attention.2
• Participating in making music for older people can result in lower mortality rates3; lessen deterioration in physical health4 and reduce the use of medication.
• Playing the piano exercises the heart as much as a brisk walk5.
• Making music develops your brain – extensive instrumental music training affects the anatomy of the brain with greater grey matter volumes in motor-related areas6 and greater white matter volumes in motor tracts7 with differences emerging after one year of music training8. The thickness of the corpus callosum, which links the two hemispheres of the brain, is found to increase directly with the hours spent practising the piano9.
“There’s no doubt that making music, alone or in a group, can improve your emotional and physical health and stimulate your mind. Whether you’re starting from scratch, trying to improve neglected skills, or a seasoned pro, we hope that everyone joins in with our #444 campaign and reaps the benefits while helping the many that are less fortunate than them.”
For more information on Music for All visit www.musicforall.org.uk
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