"It's a place where I can go and feel the worries of the world disappear."
As part of a vibrant Real School adult student community, health care professional and bassist Cindy Walsh knows that learning and making music with friends is good for stress reduction and overall well-being. And, it's just plain fun!
The following article is part of our Student Spotlight series, which highlights the stories and experiences of Real School students and their families.
Adult Student and Bass Player Cindy Walsh
Learning, creating, and performing music for fun and enjoyment as an adult, often called recreational music making, has proven to be effective in reducing pain and stress while having a positive effect on the aging brain. The late Karl Bruhn, regarded as the Father of Music Making and Wellness, defined recreational music making as, “enjoyable, accessible and fulfilling group music-based activities that unite people of all ages regardless of their challenges, backgrounds, ethnicity, ability or prior experience."
As a professional in the health care industry, Real School student Cindy Walsh intuitively understands the connection between music making and enhanced well-being. Cindy works as a data analyst with Tufts Health Plan and is an avid bass player. In addition to taking lessons, practicing, and playing in a band, Cindy enjoys traveling, reading, and the Red Sox.
Cindy's bass teacher, Lou Ulrich, loves working with adults and coaching bands and ensembles. Lou said, "I think it's important for people to see that they're are many adult students at Real School. Cindy is an awesome student and practices everything assigned!"
We asked Cindy to tell us more about how music fits into her busy life and what it means to her...
Did you ever take music lessons as a kid, and what led you to studying the electric bass as an adult?
Cindy: I started guitar lessons at age 15. Continued guitar lessons intermittently throughout my adult life. Was never any good! I started bass lessons about 5 years ago and I've never looked back.
Why did you decide to come to Real School and what do you like best about it?
Cindy: I've studied at several music schools throughout the past many years. The Real School offers the best learning environment that I've experienced. The staff is knowledgeable, supportive and very friendly.
What does taking lessons and playing music mean to you? How does it make a difference in your life?
Cindy: Practicing, playing and learning music has become a very meditative experience for me. It's a place where I can go and feel the worries of the world disappear. My only worries become whether or not a chord is a major or a minor!
What keeps you engaged in continuously learning and growing as a musician?
Cindy: My instructor, Lou Ulrich, has been such a kind and supportive mentor for me. He has patiently helped me through an understanding of music theory that I have previously thought wouldn't be possible. I've studied through the years but it has always seemed to have gone right over my head! But Lou has a way of explaining and demonstrating subjects that makes it all seem so simple and clear.
What has been some of your most memorable experiences in music so far? I've really enjoyed rehearsing and performing with the other musicians in the Adult Ensembles.
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians who are looking to develop their skills? Learn to appreciate all types of music. Practice, practice, practice! When you're performing, don't think, play. And, when you play, have fun...that's why it's called play!
Like this article? Here are some others that you may enjoy:
- You're Never Too Old to Start Learning a Musical Instrument
- Student Spotlight Series: Dylan Walsh
- Student Spotlight Series: Elizabeth Bond
- Student Spotlight Series: Joline Maher
- Student Spotlight Series: Ashley Koman
- Why It's Never Too Late to Start a Musical Instrument