Music to Our Ears
How Music Keeps the Brain Young
Advances in modern medicine have shown that music can improve a person’s brain in a multitude of ways - hearing included! In fact, there is a new branch of research called neuromusicology - the scientific study of the effects of music on the brain. Research in this field has shown that music activates every known part of your brain.
So, how can music make your brain happier, smarter and healthier? Try these tips from John Hopkins:
Listening to music
- Experts suggest listening to what your kids and grandkids listen to. While listening to the same music we listened to when we were growing up definitely has its own benefits (see #2), avoiding new sounds means we aren’t challenging ourselves. Exercise your brain by listening to new, unfamiliar sounds - you might even enjoy that new pop music your granddaughter loves!*
- That being said, a good dose of nostalgia is very healthy. Exercise your memory by playing music that brings back old, fond moments. Reaching for familiar sounds can help your brain to exercise long-term memory.
- Be mindful of music that you connect with. Many people find that certain kinds of music played in the background while they are working, reading or doing another activity can help them concentrate and stay focused.
*Listen... but not too loud. Music heard at too high a volume can potentially damage hearing.
If you’re up for a challenge, many studies have shown that learning to play an instrument later in life can drastically improve upon many aspects of your brain including:
- Blood flow to the brain
- Interpersonal relationships
- Memory and reading skills
- Reducing stress and depression
And what better time than the holidays to indulge in music both and new! So dust off the old piano keys or dig that boom box out of your garage - you can start exercising your brain today, and have fun doing it.