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Posted by on Feb 20, 2013 in Articles, new articles | 1 comment

Duh News Flash: Musicians Are Smarter

Duh News Flash: Musicians Are Smarter

Posted by Melissa Wimbish

Found this on the Twitter via Joyce DiDonato, so had to share. We may be cray…but cray and genius kinda grew up together:

Musicians Are Smarter Than the Rest of Us
(Original article found on Huffington Post)

Want to keep your mind healthy and sharp throughout your life? Pick up an instrument. A new study found that musicians might have brains that function better than their peers well into old age. Bet you wish you stuck with those piano lessons after all.

Researchers tested the mental abilities of senior citizens and discovered that musicians performed better at a number of tests. In particular, musicians excelled at visual memory tasks. While musicians had similar verbal capabilities to non-musicians, the musicians’ ability to memorize new words was markedly better, too. Perhaps most importantly, the musicians’ IQ scores were higher overall than those who spent their lives listening to music rather than performing it.

The experience of musicians also played a role in how sharp their minds were. The younger the musicians began to play their instruments, the better their minds performed at the mental tasks. Additionally, the total number of years musicians played instruments throughout their life corresponded with how strong their brains remained years later.

The study also found that musicians who took the time to exercise between symphonies had even higher-functioning brain capabilities. This finding supports another recent study that reported people who walk regularly maintain healthier brains. With that in mind, perhaps joining a marching band now will make you the smartest person at the retirement home in the future.

Click here to access the full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/20/music-intelligence_n_904124.html

 

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1 Comment

  1. such as melody, rthyhm, harmony, instruments, voices, describes something, is emotional, etc. But then I use some listening examples from Bach, Allegri, Gregorian chant, Schoenberg, Cage, ethnic music, Deadmau5, Eminem, etc. and we come up with the definition of music as organised sound this leads then into a discussion about what sound is (melody, rthyhm, harmony) and then how it is organised i.e. notation/technology/performance. I’ve never had anyone who has totally disagreed and I think as a teacher there is a real value because they do have a definition (no matter how limiting it is), and then they have an awareness of why we talk about music constituent parts, and why we learn to notate it. By the way its possible that the student has amusia, it’s very rare but certainly not unheard of, especially if you’re using really basic examples and they cannot hear the beat!

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