Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle and a Holistic Education with Music

By Seth Escalante

Written: Wednesday 14th July, 2021

When I was younger, I remember visiting my uncle who is a doctor. I am not sure if I went to just pay a visit to family, if I was sick or if I needed to pick something up... Whatever the reason, he told me something that I would never forget.
 

He said that all someone needs to do to live a healthy life is good Music, Exercise and Dieting.

 

He then chuckled and said, “and this is coming from a doctor!”

 

As I grew older and continued my studies, that statement become more and more to be my mantra. I also realized that

 

living a healthy life is synonymous with living a happy life.  

 

My rationale for this comes with being a performer and a musician.

  • As a performer, I have attended many funerals. At most of these funerals, there is always one conversation that is inevitable to happen; ‘How Stress Affects People” This conversation is usually about the immediate family of the unfortunately deceased individual at the funeral. Sometimes, the conversation is about how stress was the cause of death.

 

  • As a musician, I am in the creative industry. Unfortunately, many people in the creative industry suffer from depression, anxiety and other mental conditions. This is researched to have been a valid contributor to our infamous short lifespan. How many times have we heard of people in the creative industry dying from an overdose? However, I always had a hard time considering myself ‘a creative’ because of a variety of reasons; one of the strongest reasons is that I started music  because I was taken aback by the rich history of music and the effect it always had on humans and society. It was always my goal to become a teacher so I could share how music has always been one of the biggest influencers in history, and if used correctly, can greatly benefit the individual who learns the discipline of music.

 

In both instances of being a performer and a musician, I have gathered enough stories and observations to reach to the statement I previously said,

 

“living a healthy life is synonymous with living a happy life.’

 

As without happiness, there is stress; and stress is linked to our overall state of well-being. We can’t have stress and also be healthy.

 

Here are a few studies that consider music as an important factor to one’s health and overall state of well-being.
https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/302903

https://www.healthline.com/health/benefits-of-music

https://www.northshore.org/healthy-you/9-health-benefits-of-music/#:~:text=Research%20has%20shown%20that%20blood,production%20of%20the%20hormone%20dopamine.

 

That takes care of the first part of the title of this blog; let me address the second part ‘A Holistic Education’

There is a stereotype given to people who graduate from certain disciplines.

If someone graduates from a medical degree, an engineering degree, an actual math degree, an economics degree, a phycology degree… that person is deemed from society as an intelligent person

However, if someone graduates from a music degree, a theatre arts degree, a fine arts degree, an art degree… on many occasions that person is not put on the same intellectual level as the person graduating with the previously mentioned degrees {medical, engineering, etc.}

Why is this? These 2 types of degrees {the one that deems you intelligent by most and the one that doesn’t) can both take an estimated time of 5 years, copious amount of practice and reading and complete dedication to the discipline.

This is one of the stereotypes that prevent many people from achieving a holistic education. The lack of a holistic education has been a cause for concern as many professions have done intensive studies about the benefit of the ‘creative subjects’ being included in the primary, secondary and tertiary education institutions.

 

One of the many studies is this popular study that shows that brain is divided in two.

The left brain being in control of speech, comprehension, writing, math... Your logical thinking often used in science and math.

The right side of the brain being in control of creativity, spatial ability, artistic ability, musical ability… Your creative thinking often used creative disciplines (art, music, and dance)

As a human being, we should develop both sides of the brain. This will help us make better decisions, develop a moral compass and lead a healthy life with fulfilment and understanding.

Here are a few studies about why music is a necessary part of a holistic education

http://www.chicagoacademic.com/bid/223417/Teaching-to-the-Left-and-Right-Sides-of-the-Brain

https://www.childrensmusicworkshop.com/advocacy/factsandstatistics/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1048371318798829

 

 

A holistic Education doesn’t just mean to include music and other creative subjects, as a person in the 21st century with many informational resources being available to you, a holistic education means having the opportunity to learn how to grow their own food, the value of exercise, proper dieting , how to manage their finances, how to plan a family…

 

Education is a journey with no end.