Here is what some participants say:
This comes at a time in life when you have the time to devote to it. When you join the band, you stick with it. Not many people drop out. It’s something that holds you.
Next to my family, certainly, the musical activity is the most important thing in my life.
Many adults want the socialization of group instruction, and they want to be part of an ensemble right from the start. Adults participating in such a music program meet new friends and become an important part of a group. They have events to look forward to – concerts to play, concerts to attend, and trips. Such goals give added meaning and purpose to life. Strong friendships are formed in New Horizons programs (and there have been several marriages).
Music is a way of experiencing life. It can be the object of deep contemplation and a way of experiencing a broad range of emotions. It provides an opportunity to experience profound and serious thoughts or joyful moments. It makes connections to the past, the present, and the future. It also connects one to other individuals and other cultures. Making music is a way of making vital connections to life.
Many adults want to make lifestyle changes to improve and sustain good health. There is a growing body of evidence that music making supports good mental and physical health. Gerontologists have long known that socialization is an important factor for good health. The evidence is also strong that the “use it or lose it” principle applies to mental abilities as well as physical abilities. The constant mental challenge of learning music is an ideal form of exercise for our brains. The Music Making and Wellness [www.NAMM.com] movement is supporting research to investigate the link between active music making and wellness. Early studies indicate that music making can reduce depression and increase the strength of the immune system.