How making a noise can make you feel better

By Phoebe Csenki, Head of Music at Gordonstoun.

Making a noise is a wonderfully therapeutic thing to do, and making a great noise with other people in the form of music, is particularly so. Gordonstoun's Music Department provides those opportunities and our pupils have grasped the chance to do this as we recover from the difficulties of the last few years.

Whether it is hearty singing in chapel each morning, drumming in the pipe band, or working on a beautiful piece of chamber music with a string quartet, music provides an opportunity to express emotion and creates energy and beauty to ease the soul.

It is no surprise to any musician that music fires off more signals in the brain than almost anything else. Listening to music has an emotional but also physical effect – it has been seen to reduce blood pressure and relieve pain, as well as improving cognitive ability. Just think of the effect of listening to a favourite song, or hearing something new and inspiring – it can make us smile, or be moved to tears.

The effect of learning to play an instrument has an even more startling effect. Improved attention span and increased problem solving ability is commonly reported, and studies have shown that the physical and emotional skills required to play an instrument stretch the brain in a unique way. Music is structured and disciplined, but also requires emotional intelligence and the ability to understand others. It takes huge amounts of focus and determination to learn an instrument, but rewards the musician with a depth of expression and the ability to create something special.

Add to that, the confidence gained from standing on the concert platform, the friendships formed through bands and choirs, and what more could you want? Dust off your instruments, and make some heartfelt noise.