Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect gift for the ones we love. It doesn't matter if we're talking about a 6 year old or a 60 year, its just tough sometimes. But the one gift that can make a huge impact on someone's life is music. The benefits of listening to music and/or musical education are outstanding. Those who learn to play a musical instrument are less likely to get dementia, enhance social skills and sharpen cognitive function. Plus, its really really fun.

So, why give  your child or husband or whoever this holiday season the gift of music? You can spend as little or as much as you want on it. You can find an Epiphone Hummingbird Artist acoustic guitar for around $100. If you want to spend a little more, the Squier Classic Vibe Telecaster is a fantastic choice. It'll cost you about $350, but it is an instrument that players of any age or skill level can enjoy and grow with. If an instrument is a bit much...turntables, records, cds, etc.. can be found for a little bit of nothing.

Now, of course, if you give an instrument to a newbie, you have to get them lessons too right? Well, in the olden days, it would cost about $60 an hour for lessons. But, now you can usually find an instructor for a much lower rate. Or, if you're loved one has a busy schedule, they can learn to play over their wireless device!

Fender Play and JamPlay are great tools where you can learn everything from the basics to insane blues riffs on your own schedule in the comfort of your own home. And its pretty cheap too with monthly fees starting at $9.99 a month. And the great thing about these apps is the player can tailor their course to their tastes. If they want to play like BB King, the can take the Blues approach to guitar. If rock and roll is more their thing, they can go on that track and learn the secret skills of James Burton or Keith Richards.

A lot of times, we give gifts that people really don't care about. They get used once, tossed aside and eventually forgotten. A musical instrument, such as guitar, could be a gift that not only keeps giving for a life time but increase someone's quality of life and give them a new creative outlet to explore.

Now, if a guitar or musical instrument is a little too expensive for you, you can always buy someone a record player. Not only can you find a decent turntable for cheap, but most used records can be found for 10 bucks or less. And again, not only is it a great gift but research shows that listen to a heavy dose of music daily can enhance your life. Those who actively listen to music have shown increased memory skills, verbal intelligence and a lower rate of depression...just to name a few.

Music can change lives, it has been shown to alter a person's health and well being. Don't get me wrong, socks are great. We all need socks. But socks don't have the impact or punch a Beatles or Willie Nelson song carries.

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