The Use Of Music On Our Brains And Dementia

Do Re Mi Fa So, you know the rest. Many of us listen to music everyday, whether it is through a radio or from any online streaming software, we listen and hear music intentionally and unintentionally. Did you know music not only brightens up our mood, it also does wonders to our physical body and our mind. Johns Hopkins Medicine’s research shows that music has many benefits to the health of our body and mind, and can even be seen as a non-traditional medicine for dementia. 

Music makes your brain exercise
One of John Hopkins Medicine’s otolaryngologists stated that our brain takes a lot of energy to understand music, which makes it a good workout for our brain.  “Music is structural, mathematical and architectural. It’s based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it,” noted from a otolaryngologist. In another word, when you are listening to music, you are exercising your brain! 

Listen to a new Genre
Have you noticed that you always gravitate towards music that you are familiar with? Perhaps you always listen to the music you grew up with? It is human nature to choose comfort over exploration of new things, which is why we always listen to music that is familiar to us. However, researchers from John Hopkins Medicine suggested otherwise; we should listen to new music because “new music challenges the brain in a way that old music doesn’t. It might not feel pleasurable at first, but that unfamiliarity forces the brain to struggle to understand the new sound.” When our brain is working harder, we tend to be more creative and think better! 

Music Changes mood
Have you ever had flashbacks when a particular song is played over the radio? Romantic flashbacks or angry traumatic flashbacks, they are all emotions music brings up. Rhythms and music have the power to unlock our memory cabinet and remind us of our past that we associate with certain tones. If music has such a powerful influence on us, why not use it to improve our mood or help us to have a better sleep? If slow classical music helps you relax, then have it play in the background as you wind down for bed. If jazz makes you want to dance, then play it when you are having a bad day, it might help lift your mood. 

Music Prevents Dementia
Constantine Lyketsos, M.D,  Director of the Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center at Johns Hopkins, wrote an research article speaking about 4 helpful steps to actively prevent dementia, and one of the steps is to learn to play an instrument. Lyketsos stated that the process of learning a new instrument “helps safeguard brainpower by putting multiple parts of your brain to work”.

According to a 2013 study that was conducted by John Hopskins Medicine, they sampled a group of 60+ year old adults who took piano lessons and practiced it every day for four months, and the result showed that this group of adults improved in their thinking ability and showed less signs of depression. To read more about this studies, click here. Learning an instrument can be expensive but you can now borrow musical instrument at Markham Village Library with a library card! 

Books on how to learn a new instrucments and more: 

The use of music On our brains and dementia

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Many of us listen to music everyday, whether it is through a radio or from any online streaming software, we listen and hear music intentionally and unintentionally. Did you know music not only brightens up our mood, it also does wonders to our physical body and our mind.












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Citation: 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/-/media/files/health/pdfjhm_dementia.ashx 

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/keep-your-brain-young-with-music 

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