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Music and the Brain

There are good reasons to study music aside from being able to play.

 

Simply listening to music “involves nearly every region of the brain that we know about, and nearly every neural subsystem” (Daniel Levitin, This is Your Brain on Music, p. 86).

 

For instance, following along with music engages certain parts of the brain – the hippocampus (memory center) and the frontal lobe; tapping along with music engages others – the cerebellum’s timing circuits.

 

Performing music uses the frontal lobes for planning behaviour, as well as the motor cortex and sensory cortex. Listening to, or recalling lyrics, involves language centers in the brain.

 

And the emotions we feel in response to music involve structures deep in the primitive regions of the cerebellum and the amygdala.

 

Simply by listening to music, we strengthen our brain. By learning to play, the benefits multiply. So even if you don’t become a professional musician, music lessons have a lasting benefit that positively affects your entire life.

 

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