Thank you Anita Collins from TED-Ed.
The ideas found in this superb TED-Ed talk could make you want to practice more just because practice helps your brain to such a great degree
When scientists turned from observing the brains of music listeners to those of musicians, the little backyard fireworks became a jubilee. It turns out that while listening to music engages the brain in some pretty interesting activities, playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.
The neuroscientists saw multiple areas of the brain light up simultaneously processing different information in intricate interrelated and astonishingly fast sequences. But what is it about making music that sets the brain alight? The research is still fairly new, but neuroscientists have a pretty good idea playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.
As with any other workout, disciplined, structured practice in playing music strengthens those brain functions allowing us to apply that strength to other activities.
The most obvious difference between listening to music and playing it, is that the latter requires fine motor skills which are controlled in both hemispheres of the brain. It also combines the linguistic and mathematical precision in
the left hemisphere while the right is more involved with the novel and creative content. For these reasons playing music has been found to increase the volume and activity in the brain’s corpus callosum,
the bridge between the two hemispheres, allowing messages to get across the brain faster and through more diverse routes. This may allow musicians to solve problems more effectively and creatively in both academic and social settings. Because making music also involves crafting and understanding its emotional content and message, musicians often have higher levels of executive function. This category of interlinked tasks includes planning, strategizing and attention to detail. It requires
simultaneous analysis of both cognitive and emotional aspects.
Excerpted from the Feature Article of the August 2017 Pro-Motion Music e-newsletter. Dr. Jeannine and David Jordan are the creative artists of Pro-Motion Music LLC. Jeannine, a concert organist, with David, a media artist, are the creators and performers of three organ and multimedia concert experiences, Around the World in 80 Minutes, From Sea to Shining Sea, and Bach and Sons.