• VanessaHowells

A musician's brain and connectivity

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

"By training, we can change the way our brains are wired."

Simon Leipold, Psychiatry researcher.

Musicians are people who amaze and fascinate in equal measures. The ability to hear a sweet melody from dots on a page, translating symbols into a whole cacophony of internal sound is astounding.


Like an actor reading the script and devising a tonal map, speed and dialogue in their minds, musicians alter texture, nuance and sweeping gestures all the while crafting what will emerge in sound to the listener's ear.


The below blog investigates why learning and playing music can help in other aspects of life:


https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/your-brain-will-thank-you-for-being-a-musician/


Through years of musical training, the neural plasticity of the brain facilitates the learning of cognitive skills, sound interpretation, kinesthetic control and memory. The below review offers an in depth reflection on the brain functioning of musicians; both in the early stages of learning and at professional level through various research projects.


https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00713/full


"If the little grey cells are not exercised, they grow the rust." Hercule Poirot, (Agatha Christie)


In a more practical sense, there are benefits of learning an instrument which you cannot get from other subjects. Music goes beyond a classroom theme or topic and into essential life skills; understanding and overcoming situations, cognitive and behavioural learning, resilience, adapting and communicating.


https://www.inverse.com/mind-body/how-music-changes-the-brain-study


Why is this relevant?

In the UK currently the arts are reeling from the recent news of the 50% funding cuts imposed by the government in preference for the core subjects. It is not a question simply of people going into these creative professions but how the benefits of learning these skills can improve other aspects of brain and social development - something that you cannot put a price on.


https://www.artforum.com/news/uk-government-halves-arts-funding-in-higher-education-86258


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