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Great Escape: Learning Getaways!

Don't let your kids have all the fun! Go back class. If you've always wanted to learn to play the piano, be a gourmet cook, or take up golf, hire a professional or take a class and get your friend or loved one to join you.

Scientific research reveals that brain fitness may be one of the cornerstones to living better as we age. In fact, it may be that the brain atrophies like our muscles and we need to "use it or lose it." Dr. Michael Merzenich, who specializes in neuroplasticity research, has concluded that our brains can adapt and change. We need to stimulate our brains with new input, or we face the danger of memory loss and other unwelcome cognitive loss. Here are some ideas to get you started:

You won't have to leave the Island to go to cooking school! Long time Mercer Island resident, Anita Myrfors, offers group cooking classes in her home with wine included! You'll have a variety of menus from which to select, then you'll be divided into teams as you create your culinary masterpieces. After you cook, you'll have the opportunity to relax, chat and enjoy your meal. For more information, go to: www.cookingwithanita.com. Another local cooking school, Odegard Epicurian, holds classes at the or even in your own home (see a video produced by Odegard Epicurian attached to this story, starring Chef Lisa Odegard on making homemade baby food).

Tee it up at a local golf school! Jefferson Park Golf Course and Newcastle Golf Club are conveniently located to Mercer Island and both courses offer professional instruction throughout the year. Newcastle offers a five lesson accelerated series called Get Golf Ready, which will prepare you to get out on the course quickly.

Music can soothe, energize and uplift the soul, so why not learn to make your own music? If you've ever wanted to play the piano, learn the guitar or learn how to sing (other than in the shower, in private), check out The Metropolitan Academy of Music, located at 2466 73rd Avenue SE, in Mercer Island. The Academy even offers instruction for future drummers and fiddlers!

Build your confidence and body awareness, and reduce stress at . The physical aspects of martial arts can help improve flexibility and balance and overall fitness levels. Additionally, martial arts teaches personal responsibility, respect and other life lessons. The also holds various classes in Martial Arts.

You know how important exercise is for your body. Perhaps you should make your mental fitness an equal priority. If you want to be really efficient, you can even combine the two. Who knows? You just might have some fun while you're at it!

Connie Wible January 12, 2012 at 11:02 PM
Hi Lori, Great Article on Learning Getaways. In case you didn't know, Mercer Island Music, www.mercerislandmusic.com offers classes in several instruments - Piano, Guitar, Harp, Violin, Sax, Trumpet, Voice, Trombone, to name a few. Our store also carries instruments to rent, and we have a great line of string instruments to rent out. On the piano side, Our teachers teach a variety of styles, Jazz, Classical, Improvisation, and I personally teach children and adults with Autism, ADD, or other neurological specialties. It would be nice to speak with you sometime! Sincerely, Connie Wible Co-Owner Mercer Island Music 206-271-9546 3631 82nd Ave. SE Mercer Island, WA

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