Dementia prevention 🧠 take one course of “learning a musical instrument” 🎶
“If you don’t play a musical instrument, now [in our 40s and 50s] is the time to pick up the guitar or start playing the piano” says this researcher. While learning a musical instrument when we are young wires our brain well for life, taking up a musical instrument in our 40s and 50s keeps that wiring in top condition.
We design posters so that your students will talk about the affect of music on their brain! Check out our different sets!
As always the question is why? Why music and why a musical instrument? The answer is that just like children, who need a full brain workout to grow their brains, adults need a full brain workout to maintain their brain health. Learning a musical instrument is an all-in-one brain workout. What this means is that it requires hyper-connectivity between our eyes, ears, and bodies in a responsive, flexible and increasing finely tuned way. Any adult who has taken up any activity in adulthood will know that strange wrenching feeling of our brain cogs starting to turn in new and different ways. It sounds and feels hard, but along with the newness comes the child-like glee of getting it right. You might have experienced this when you got a golf swing just right or pulled that perfect cake out of the oven. Learning an instrument creates that personal thrill, but there is so much more.
Success in learning an instrument in adulthood probably requires a teacher and involvement in a musical ensemble. Both of these are social connections like no other in human experience. They are almost primal as we had music before we developed language. It was the way we knew who our tribe was and who to trust, so learning an instrument in a group, or even a group of two, gets our social connectivity humming in a way that can sometimes be difficult in our busy and pressured adult lives.
Finally, it is music. Music is just good, full stop. But through this type of research, we are unlocking the mysteries about why and how it is good. And learning an instrument in adulthood can also fulfil a childhood dream, and that is the best workout for the brain.