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Published on May 13, 2016

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Brain Rules by John Medina (ch.10)

Formal musical training improves intellectual skills in several domains

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Intellectual Benefits

  • Some scientist think we are born musical
  • Studies have shown that musicians are better listeners(can detect dramatic or subtle differences more than non-musicians)
  • Musical training provides direct improvements in working memory (working memory is a key constituent of executive function)

Formal music training also aids social cognition

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Social/Emotional Benefits

  • Prosocial skills (behavior done for the good of group or individual) are strengthened when performing in a musical group
  • Musicians are better at detecting emotion
  • Music lessons make kids more empathic
  • Music changes your mood through actual hormonal changes (increases dopamine, cortisol, oxytocin)

MUSIC: the unexplainable healing power

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Healing Power of Music

  • Using music as medicine for sick patients has a long history (dating back to Greek physician Hippocrates, WWI, WWII, to present day)
  • Has been shown to aid speech recovery in head-trauma patients
  • Prematurely born infants gain weight more rapidly (it is now standard to play music in NICUs)
  • Music-therapy patients routinely outscore patients exposed to more traditional therapies
  • calms patients down as well as reduces pain
  • "Nothing activates the brain so extensively as music." -Dr.Oliver Sacks

Why should you care?

  • Executive function predicts students' future undergraduate performances better than their state tests, or even their IQ.(p.208)
  • Emotional regulation has powerful effect on academic performance(refer to stress chapter)
  • Aids in developing AND healing the whole child
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