Island Senior: Music and Your Brain
Posted June 2, 2017 at 5:50 am by Peggy Sue McRae
By Peggy Sue McRae -
Music is good for your brain. Most of us have experienced hearing a piece of music and being transported in time. Play me the Rolling Stones, Jumping Jack Flash, and its summer, and I’m a teenager. That is because when we hear music, unlike other activities that are located in just one part of the brain, music is processed by a full network of neural activity that enlivens the entire brain enhancing memory function.
Parts of the brain associated with memory, emotion, creativity, and motor function all light up when the music is playing. According to research done at the Academy of Finland processing music activates motor activity supporting the idea that music and movement are very closely related. Not only does this mean that we were we born to boogie but music can even play a role in recovering motor function after a stroke.
Meditation is also good for your brain. Senior Services is offering a new class starting June 15 at 10:00 am at the Mullis Center that will combine both music and meditation for the wellbeing of your brain. Practicing meditation for only two months, says Music and Mindfulness instructor Delphinia Liles, “can actually increase the density of your brain’s grey matter, especially in the hippocampus, resulting in improved memory and learning ability.” Ferris Jabr of Scientific American notes that this area of the brain usually shrinks as we age but “meditation counteracts this decay.”
According to Delphinia, “If you are trying to learn something new, you will remember it better if it is associated with music. Rhythm in music has an invigorating effect on us, helps our emotional health and releases endorphins which reduce pain, stress and depression.” All of the class activities will be easy for anyone to do. “Come join us for Music and Meditation. Your brain will love you for it!”
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