Playing A Musical Instrument Can Be Beneficial For An Aging Brain

Practicing and reading music is a complex endeavor, so complex that experts believe it could help sustain good memory. New research suggests that playing a musical instrument or singing could help keep the brain healthy as we age. The study looked at more than 1,100 people aged over 40 to observe the effects of practicing music on brain health. The results showed that people who played musical instruments benefited the most due to the "multiple cognitive demands" involved. Positive results were most prevalent in those who had been practicing music their entire lives. Elders who picked up music later in life were not studied, though researchers say it would certainly be "very beneficial." "Our brain is a muscle like anything else and it needs to be exercised, and learning to read music is a bit like learning a new language, it's challenging," said the lead author of the study, professor Anne Corbett. Previous studies have shown the persistence of musical talent in individuals with dementia, even with the loss of most other cognitive functions.