“Music probably does something unique. It stimulates the brain in a very powerful way, because of our emotional connection with it.” explains neuro psychologist Catherine Loveday of the University of Westminster.
There are many activities which claim to make you smarter, companies like Lumosity claims that their products improve general mental abilities; but a recent study claims that these products have no science backing them, and there’s little evidence that brain development games and applications actually improves everyday cognitive performance.
So, if you’re duped by some company, since you were wanting to become smarter, I’m here to explain why learning an instrument is the best thing you could do. It will not only make you smarter, but also make the coordination of your brain much smoother.
Playing a musical instrument involves combining information from the following senses:
Apart from these three senses, it also requires fine movements of your hand muscles. Learning to integrate all the information along with the hand movements can have long-lasting changes on your brain.
If we put the brain of a musician and a non-musician together, we can see significant changes. According to neuroscientists, the corpus callosum, a massive bundle of nerve fibres connecting the two sides of the brain, is much more developed and large in musicians when compared to that of a non-musician.
The major reason for this developments is the way our brain processes music, it literally engages every part of the part; the visual, auditory and the motor cortices being the major one.
“Music reaches parts of the brain that other things can’t, It’s a strong cognitive stimulus that grows the brain in a way that nothing else does, and the evidence that musical training enhances things like working memory and language is very robust.” says Loveday.
The major difference between musicians and nonmusicians is that the former need fine motor skills. Let’s divide our brain into parts, the left and the right, the linguistic and mathematical precision is the forte of left hemisphere, the novel and the creative content is handled by the right hemisphere. So as you can see, to be able to learn and play music literally awakens our brain, thus improving coordination and creativity. A musical research shows that musicians also have better verbal memory, reasoning and literacy skills.
With so many benefits, neuro-scientists claims that learning a musical instrument can increase the gray matter in your brain, and also improve the connections between them.
More recently, it has become clear that musical training facilitates the rehabilitation of patients recovering from stroke and other forms of brain damage, and some researchers now argue that it might also boost speech processing and learning in children with dyslexia and other language impairments.
I’ll leave and get back to my guitar!
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