By Greg Stone and Linda Leavitt

Playing bluegrass music is just plain good for you, with health benefits that include improved brain function, hand-eye coordination and finger strength, and lower blood pressure and stress. Music practice results in better memory and staves off dementia. Focused pratice is meditative. Playing bluegrass music keeps us sharp and inspired.

Singing results in greater lung capacity, fewer colds (yes, really!) and better posture.

Playing bluegrass music allows you to express yourself emotionally. Singing a sad song may improve your mood.

Friendship is good for you, too. People with good social connections live longer. That’s a fact! To play well with others, you will develop your ear for listening to the music and to the folks with whom you play music. If you regularly play music with other folks, chances are you will make deep music connections and you might just live longer.

So turn off that TV and get to practicing!