Music and Brain Development

Learning to read music and/or play an instrument has been connected to increased brain development, because these tasks activate different areas of the brain. However, for children that are too young to read music or play instruments, just listening to music may be able to improve brain development.

Early exposure to music has been shown in multiple studies to be beneficial to brain development in children. Benefits are increased when listening to music is followed up with singing along at the earliest time of capability, and finally leading to some form of musical instruction.

This path is thought to increase and improve the connections in a developing brain and to lead to benefits in other areas of learning such as language development.

Different varieties of music can have the same positive effect. Classical music has been cited as improving brain development through the so-called “Mozart Effect”. However, further research indicates that it is not necessarily classical music that assists brain development in children, but instead that any relatively complex piece of music can have a similar effect.

The key to brain development appears to be music with complex structures and harmonies. It may also help if the music has the sort of tempo that helps both children and adults relax. Typically, this is in the 40-60 beat per minute (BPM) range.

Music may not help our brains develop as adults, but it certainly can help us to relax and relieve stress—especially if the music has the 40-60 BPM tempo that helps to slow our heartbeat and breathing and allows our brains to produce more relaxing alpha brainwaves.

Who knows, perhaps the relaxation effect will help our brains develop as well! As we age, we should take every little bit of brain development that we can get.

 

Thank you for reading

Elio

Composer of Healing and relaxation Music

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