A group of adults over the age of 50 at the University of Kentucky are learning ways to enhance their personal relationships and relieve anxiety all while advancing their skills on the piano. Through the new recreational outreach music making program mUsiKcare, UK School of Music faculty aim to enhance student training, wellness and community engagement through weekly piano classes.
Musical participation has been shown to provide both musical and non-musical benefits. Studies suggest that music can enhance cognitive functioning, reduce stress and provide valuable social support. Musical participation has also been shown to improve mood and decrease anxiety and even decrease burnout.
In light of the health benefits of recreational music making, Lori Gooding, director of UK Music Therapy; Vicki McVay, director of the UK Piano Preparatory Program, and Olivia Yinger, assistant professor of music therapy, have developed mUsiKcare with the financial support of a $35,000 grant from AARP to evaluate the impacts of the piano classes on socialization. To continue reading, click here