Want to Boost Your Brain? Play Music

The more you learn and play music, the more your brain can whistle a happy tune.

Posted in , Mar 15, 2019

Playing music for health

“Life seems to go on without effort when I am filled with music,” said the Victorian-era English writer George Eliot. Anyone who has ever picked up an instrument or even belted out a tune in the car can attest to the way music lifts the spirit—it feels like it’s coming from another part of your brain, a profound, wordless place.

Research from the University of Montreal confirms what Eliot said so lyrically. The study shows that music impacts a variety of sensory processes, enabling musicians (or “musicians”) to respond more quickly to stimuli, respond to input from more than one sense at once and improve memory over time.

These benefits increase with the amount of time you spend playing music. While there are particular ways music helps support brain health, especially in aging, learning any new skill can have the positive impact of slowing the focus and memory issues that are known to researchers as “cognitive aging.”

But music really is in a class all its own. What other activity could boast social benefits, health benefits  anxiety-reducing, stress-relieving benefits?

Try to incorporate music into your routine and see how it affects your ability to walk a positive path through each day. Drum on the steering wheel, pick out a simple tune on a piano, or best of all, sign up for a class at a community center or music school near you. 

As your brain soaks up the beauty and power of musical learning, see if the rest of your life starts to feel like it’s moving forward, as Eliot says, “without effort.”

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