There are many ways to learn to play music. For most people, the end result of music lessons is the ability to play for fun and for personal satisfaction instead of performance. For people in this category, RMM is an ideal way to learn how to play music.
RMM does not compete with traditional music instruction. The goals of the two are very different. RMM’s goal is to help people become whole by encouraging musical expression. Many people who have never thought they were “musical” have come to love expressing themselves through music.
RMM classes offer people the chance to explore music and music making through a variety of tools. These tools often include keyboards, rhythm instruments, and can even include voice. Some RMM programs are simple drum circles where people come together for the sole purpose of making music.
There are many benefits to RMM. One is learning musical expression. Through musical expression, many people report a wide range of benefits, including an improved quality of life, improved health and happiness, and a general sense of accomplishment.
The health benefits of RMM have been reported to include lower stress levels, more relaxation, and intellectual stimulation. Recreational Music Making is especially beneficial to senior citizens.
A 2003 study by Barry Bittman, MD published in Focus on Caregiving showed that RMM can decrease visits to the doctor due to stress related complaints. In 1998, Frederick Tims, Chair of Music Therapy at Michigan State University, performed a study that showed increased levels of human growth hormone in the elderly after participation in RMM programs.
Masatada Wachi, in a 2007 study published in the Medical Science Monitor, showed that workers participating in RMM programs were shown to have less burnout. Organizations that have implemented RMM programs for employees have shown lower employee turnover rates as a result of the programs. It has also been shown to be an excellent team building exercise.
How to Find an RMM Program
RMM programs are available in many places. Many major cities already have music teachers offering RMM instruction. Information on Recreational Music Making can be found at the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM). If there isn’t a local RMM program available, musicians and music teachers may be willing to expand their current offerings to include RMM. In some cases, people with no musical training and background have started RMM programs based on drum circles.
RMM offers many benefits, including improved health and lower stress levels. Companies implementing RMM programs can expect lower burnout rates and higher rates of employee retention.
The copyright of the article What is Recreational Music Making? in Music Education is owned by Christopher Earle. Permission to republish What is Recreational Music Making? in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.