It seems incredible that something as enjoyable as music could increase your ability to learn, improve your memory and make your brain work better – but it’s true. Thousands of studies show the connection between music and the brain. The human brain responds to rhythm, melody and patterns; whether listening or playing, music increases and improves the brain’s neural pathways.
Think of the brain as a computer, a satellite dish, a receiver and sender. The mind and the brain are not the same, even though they interact and work together. The brain is an organ, but the mind is invisible. Thanks to modern technology, thoughts and feelings can be measured by how they affect the brain.
Making music activates links to several parts of the brain because it’s a multisensory experience. One of Mozart’s favorite hobbies was math, and music is highly structured, like math. Note that Mozart’s music is complex, but highly structured.
Oliver Sacks, M.D., studied and treated people who had neurological disorders with music. A patient of his who had an IQ under 20 could perform multi-step tasks only while listening to classical music.
Learning a musical instrument has long-term effects on the brain because it enhances the development of reason, memory, logic, visual shapes, and math and verbal skills. Students who learn a musical instrument consistently score 39-51 points higher on the SATs than their nonmusical peers.
It’s still impossible to identify a person’s profession by the anatomy of the brain – unless he or she is a musician. Gottfried Schlaug and his colleagues at Harvard observed the brains of classical trained musicians and nonmusicians using MRI. They found that the corpus callosum, which connects the left and right sides of the brain, is larger and more fully developed in professional musicians than in the general population. The corpus callosum allows both sides of the brain to take in information simultaneously. Their study also showed that the planum temporal, a part of the auditory cortex, has an asymmetric enlargement in musicians who have absolute pitch (commonly called “perfect pitch”). This part if the brain is used when processing language.
You can use the power of music to improve your mental focus, memory, brain power and concentration, by either listening to or making music. As Mozart said: “How powerful is your magic sound.” The Magic Flute, 1791
From the book, Music, Healing and Harmony, by Sally Fletcher http://www.amazon.com/dp/0961551305