“If you want to keep your brain engaged throughout the aging process, listening to or playing music is a great tool. It provides a total brain workout.” Research has shown that listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.”
Keep Your Brain Young With Music – Johns Hopkins Medicine
Playing a musical instrument or listening to music has been shown to positively impact brain health and function. It doesn’t matter at what stage of life you are, the brain boosting effects are there. Music can improve mood, increase intelligence, enhance learning and concentration, and ward off the effects of brainaging.
1. HAPPY MUSIC GIVES US A MORE POSITIVE VIEW OF PEOPLE
Research from the University of London’s Department of Psychology found that when we are listening to happy music we tend to see people’s faces in a positive light – even if they’re wearing a blank facial expression.
2. MUSIC BOOSTS PHYSICAL WORKOUTS
Physical workouts are more effective when we are moving to music, according to research from the US National Library of Medicine. Whether it is an exercise class at the gym, a workout session at home, or a walk or run, moving your body in time to the rhythm of the music boosts the impact of the exercise.
3. LEARNING AN INSTRUMENT IMPROVES MOTOR AND COGNITIVE FUNCTION
A University of St. Andrews study has shown that children who learn to play an instrument are likely to display higher language and motor skills. Many school systems incorporate instrumental music programs into the curriculum for kinder students for this reason.
4. CALM TUNES ENCOURAGE CREATIVITY
Ambient music increases abstract processes in the brain, which are responsible for creative thinking – this according to research from the University of Chicago. I found during my teaching career that playing music such as Enya’s “Watermark” in the classroom not only reduced the noise in the room but also improved productivity. Native American spirit music was also very effective.
5. CLASSICAL MUSIC HAS THERAPEUTIC POWERS
A study on stroke patients, published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, revealed that the brain’s ability to process images improved among subjects who listened to classical music.
Watch John and his therapists dancing as part of his recovery from a stroke.
Isn’t that wonderful? It makes me want to get up and dance right now.
So go put some music on and let your brain enjoy it. What sort of music is your favourite?