Monday, June 18, 2012

Music Changes the Brain


Again, I am using the same post for both blogs because it pertains to both. Perhaps one day I will combine the two. Shall see.
Music: It's in your head, changing your brain by Elizabeth Landau
http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/26/health/mental-health/music-brain-science/index.html

For all of us who embrace music and seem to hear the background music to our everyday lives, we already know that music makes a difference. This article is fascinating. From Alzheimers to a language for babies, music can change the world.
When we traveled, we sang.
I never knew a time without music. It was in our home, in the field, in the car when we traveled. It was in our church and in our activities. Never a day without music. I never paid much attention to this fact until I was an adult. The radio or stereo always played in our home.
Imperial Quartet
That old blond piano brought generations together back the lane on Neff Road. We sang around it at Christmas, and Mom was always standing someone up to sing next to it. I sang there with my children when they were toddlers. We sat on the piano bench together and sang children's songs. Music was just another part of the house like a piece of furniture.

I can't imagine my parents without music. My mother and her sisters played the piano. Mom played the banjo. Dad sang with the Imperial Quartet and for weddings and at churches. We grew up with the sound of music surrounding us from morning until night. Dad whistled as he crossed the lawn to the house. Mom could be heard singing in the kitchen. The beat of life was a musical strain that carried through the every day life on the farm.

My granddaughters and I have quite an array of musical instruments with which we create a cacophony of sound.  A xylophone, bongo drums, a lone drumstick, a melodica, a violin, a piano, a recorder are the instruments used in our trio of sound. We dance to music learning to not care about the steps but to embrace the feel of the sound.

My son met his wife on the national tour of the musical Evita. Music indeed changed his life. His home is filled with music. Already they have chosen music for the nursery. I read this article on CNN and found was pleased to know that what I have always believed is true. There is healing power to music. It can change a day. It can open doors to memories. It can sooth and excite and aid in learning. The brain is ready for our awareness of what music can bring to our lives.

I have find it interesting that hospitals and nursing homes are not full soothing music, especially in waiting rooms. I feel something is amiss when I am in a home where music is not heard. The silence bothers me. A piece of me seems to be missing, perhaps a piece I wish I could instill in someone life.
Music does change the brain. Or, maybe music is waiting in the brain.  

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