This year our Simcha Band had a special guest at the Shomrei Chanukah party, Sayydah Garrett. A Muslim living in Glen Ridge, Sayydah wanted to play in our band in the spirit of brother/sister-hood. Her playing was beautiful and she certainly added more light to our festivities!
Today’s WELL column in The New York Times (12/20/16) talks about how running makes the brain work in surprising ways. Similarly, it says that “Playing a musical instrument, for instance, requires refining a variety of fine motor skills, while also engaging memory, attention, forward planning and many other executive functions of the brain. So it’s not surprising that past brain-scanning studies have found that expert musicians tend to have greater coordination between areas of the brain associated with different kinds of thinking, as well as sensory processing and motor control, than do people who have never picked up a bassoon or other instrument.”
The Times article forgot one important thing. Playing a musical instrument is pure joy (and some practice, too). The multi-generational Hanukkah Simcha Band proved this with its glorious sound at our community Hanukkah party on Sunday, Dec. 18. Whether you were playing, singing, dancing or listening to the gorgeous music, it was exhilarating. Continue reading