The fantastic month of November has ended. Why was it fantastic? Because it was Australian Music Month and also "Don't Stop the Music" month of course! For those who watched this wonderful show featuring Guy Sebastian and friend of the GRC Dr. Anita Collins, maybe you have done a bit of searching for more information about the effect of music education on the brain? It's fascinating stuff and it is wonderful not only to live at a time when so much research has been done, but also when so much more is being discovered. There can be no question about the critical importance of music education as a core study at school and as a lifelong learning as well! The whole debate is given even greater resonance as it is all happening in the months directly after the passing of Richard Gill OAM, who spent his entire life advocating for music education in schools. So firstly, have you though about giving yourself or any family members the gift of music this Christmas? What fun to take someone completely by surprise by secretly buying a trumpet (or whatever you like) for them and signing them up to lessons! There is nothing to be afraid of! Similarly, how amazing would it be to take that instrument you have had gathering dust in a cupboard for years and donate it to the Salvation Army or directly to your Regional Conservatorium so that a needy child can start their music education?! The #dontstopthemusic campaign has a lot of information about how to do this. Of course, with this season comes the challenge of the New Year Resolution. How about, rather than making the same old resolution to get fit, or stop eating sugar or being kind to small animals you make a commitment to exploring the world of music? Maybe join a choir or having singing lessons? Maybe get together with some mates and play? Maybe book tickets to some concerts of music that you have never heard before? There are so many fun (and inexpensive) options available! Finally, the other option is to rebirth your musical roots! If you have kept that band instrument from school thinking "One day I'll get it out again!" Make 2019 the year - grab it, dust it off and get playing! See who and what is around you to help you play! Your brain WILL thank you.