We’ve all heard the term “use it or lose” prescibed for maintaining a multitude of healthy living systems. Whether we’re talking about public parks, our right to vote, or our own physical bodies, like the development of muscles and immunities, “use it our lose it” is a pretty good bit of inherent wisdom. Recently, researchers have been discovering that one the best ways we can utilize the different sections of our brains is by listening to and playing music.
The area in the brain where we process things like volume, pitch, melody, and tempo is called the auditory cortex. The auditory cortex is located in the temporal lobe on each side of the brain. The left side interprets words while the right side interprets sounds. So, it’s easy to see how listening to or singing a song can create a healthy balanced brain work out.
An area called the frontal gyrus in the cerebrum, the largest part of the brain, is locatd on the top and front of the head. The inferior frontal gyrus is associated with remembering and is engaged when recalling sounds or lyrics when they are sung. The cerebellum is located in back of the head. It is associated with smooth, flowing, coordinated movement when hearing, playing, or moving to music.
Due to the fact that music stimulates so many different sections of the brain, casting such a wide net, it has been shown to engage Alzimers patients where simpler forms of stimuli have failed. There’s even some specilation that music can help to strengthen or even forge new pathways in the brain that have been damaged or deteriorated.
So, the next time you pick up that guitar, or put on your favorite record or even click on your favorite playlist (ahem… see below) remember, you’re not just taking a break to enjoy some nice tunes, you’re taking your brain to the gym! – MMM
I used the following articles in my research for this piece:
This month’s playlist includes song by: Fala La, Shopping, Better Oblivion Community Center, Thomas Patrick Maguire, AWOL One & Open Mike Eagle, Richard Dawson, Steve Gunn, Califone, Amanda Palmer, The Way Way Back, Rocks and Waves Song Circle, American Football, Damien Jurado
(Subscribe to get a new playlist every 1st Monday of the month. Click on my user link or search: Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.)