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Why music is such a sound idea

Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds

How much music is there in your life? How much do you hear, or even play? What does it mean to you?

As someone who plays several instruments and really enjoys music, I am lucky to be at a school which also takes it very seriously.

In a time when the arts are being squeezed in our education system – thought of as somehow less important – I think music is really important.

Music can change your mood and perspective in an instant. You are on the way to work, a happy song comes on the radio – your day has suddenly changed.

Even though you are stuck in traffic and it is likely that you will be late, you feel that everything is going to be okay.

On the other hand, a sad song comes on the radio and you feel gloomy all of a sudden – your day and mood have changed. Music can affect your perspective on events just like that. How else would film-makers be able to tap into our emotions so strongly sometimes? A film’s score is a vital part of the experience.

One of my tips about music is to try lots of different genres. If you are used to pop music, try jazz. If you like grime, try classical. Or the other way round.

We all get stuck in ruts and trying something different, such as a new style of music, could introduce you to new thoughts and feelings you didn’t know existed.

Some of you might want to take this a step further and take up an instrument.

There are so many different instruments to choose from. You might have visions of someone locked away in a practice room on their own or with a teacher, but I play several instruments and it has turned out to be a sociable and interesting skill.

So, remember, you are never too old to start. Take the challenge and see where the art of playing an instrument takes you. It is even possible to start by looking for lessons online and just learning some favourite songs.

If playing is not your thing, there are other ways to get into music. Joining a local choir, for instance.

Thanks to TV shows about choirs and musicians such as Gareth Malone, the whole idea of singing with other people has become much more popular in this country. There are more than 4,000 choirs in the UK now, and more than two million people take part.

Apart from the social aspect of the hobby, scientists point out that standing up and singing is aerobic exercise which reduces blood pressure, stress and anxiety.

I think the world would be completely different if we all gave music the attention it deserves. Be it listening, playing or singing.

So before you turn the page, ask yourself… is there any way I can give music more of a chance to help my life?

-- Ruby Decent is a student at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds

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