Powerful benefits of learning a musical instrument after 60
It’s never too late to gain the benefits of learning a musical instrument. One study specifically focussed on the impact of individual piano instruction on adults between the ages of 60 and 85. After six months, those who had received piano lessons showed more robust gains in memory, verbal fluency, the speed at which they processed information, planning ability, and other cognitive functions, compared with those who had not received lessons.
“People often shy away from learning to play a musical instrument at a later age, but it’s definitely possible to learn and play well into late adulthood,” says Jennifer Bugos, an assistant professor of music education at the University of South Florida, Tampa.
Moreover, as a cognitive intervention to help aging adults preserve and / or build skills, musical training holds real promise. “Musical training seems to have a beneficial impact at whatever age you start. It contains all the components of a cognitive training program that sometimes are overlooked, and just as we work out our bodies, we should work out our minds.”
Additionally, there are studies that show playing an instrument also benefits the brain. Neuroscientists have made enormous breakthroughs in understanding how our brains work by monitoring them in real time with instruments. It turns out that listening to music engages the brain in interesting activities, where playing music is the brain’s equivalent of a full-body workout.
The neuroscientists saw multiple areas of the brain light up, simultaneously processing different information in intricate, interrelated, and astonishingly rapid sequences. Playing a musical instrument engages practically every area of the brain at once, especially the visual, auditory, and motor cortices.
Moreover, several randomised studies of participants, who showed the same levels of cognitive function and neural processing at the start, found that those who were exposed to a period of music learning showed enhancement in multiple brain areas, compared to the others.
Still not convinced? Read our next article that lists 13 benefits for over 60s learning to play a musical instrument.
– National Geographic, Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You’ve Taken Music Lessons. By Diane Cole, January 2014. Read more
– How Playing An Instrument Benefits The Brain. By Anita Collins. Read more
– 17 Surprising Health Benefits of Playing an Instrument. Music Notes. Read more
Learn more techniques to keeping your memory active
Volume four uncovers a number of techniques that will help keep your memory active, in hopes to boosting your memory. Improving or maintaining an active memory is an important part of aging, which is why we’ve included it as one part of volume four – listing some key causes, quick tips and techniques to engage healthy cognitive brain. Read more on Volume 4 – Relax your mind + Boost your memory.
Volume 4 is titled “Relax your mind + Boost your memory”, comprising 47 pages the volume covers two informative chapters on how to stay relaxed after 60, and techniques to keeping your memory active.
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