Music therapy is an effective way to treat many neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, depression, and brain injury. How is this possible? Turns out, we are designed to process music in a way similar to the way we process language, sight, and sound. In fact, it has been experimentally proven children who learn how to play instruments at an early age experience enhanced learning acquisition in areas of speech, mathematics, and coordination.
§ Studies have shown language and melody have almost identical functional areas within the brain. What this means, is that when we sing a Beatles song, and learn proper syntax, there is brain activity in similar areas of our brain.
§ It has been proven an musical training leads to a better memory. Musicians who practice over long periods of time, have enhanced cortical functionality, and thus it is believed that this aids in their ability to retain information.
o Musicians vs Non-musicians
§ In the process of acquiring a skill, it has been proven the area of the brain proven functional for that particular skill gets larger. In the process of learning how to read music, your brain will learn how to translate symbols on a sheet of paper, into complex, sequential finger patterns on the violin. While your eyes scan the music left to right, top to bottom, your arms, wrist, and hand will be employed in somewhat nontraditional movements. This forces your brain to compensate, creating new connections and now giving you a new skill set to draw from in all other areas of your life. It has been shown certain areas of the brain to have denser grey matter in musicians, then non musicians. *Grey matter is tissue within your central nervous system consisting of the nerve cell bodies