(VitalNews.org) – A recent study that was done by researchers at the University of Exeter found that people who have listened to or “engaged in music” for a majority of their lives have been shown to have improved memory and better brain health as they age. Essentially, music can help protect overall memory so people can remember things more easily
Lead Researcher Anne Corbett, who is a professor of Dementia research at the University of Exeter, said, “The main message here is that different ways of engaging with music throughout life could be linked to different benefits.” She continued, “This has implications for public health, on the importance of including music in general education, and of keeping it up throughout life, or revisiting in mid to late life.”
The study included looking at more than 1,100 people who were age 40 or older that had not been diagnosed with Dementia. The data was collected between March 2019 and March 2022 and it consisted of participants doing questionnaires describing their experiences playing an instrument, singing, reading music, or listening to music. They also took a test to gauge their executive function and overall memory.
The study found that those who played musical instruments had enhanced memory and higher cognitive skills. With this said, the piano was shown to have the biggest cognitive benefits out of all the instruments, and the longer a person has played, the greater the benefits.
The study shows that it wasn’t necessarily listening to music that had a cognitive benefit but rather learning music that had the biggest impact. “Our findings indicate that learning and engaging with music can enhance the brain’s resilience in a similar way to learning a new language,” said Anne Corbett.
They were transparent about some of the shortcomings of the study, like how they didn’t test the effect of learning an instrument later in life, and they also said that the number of people playing particular instruments was small, which “could have contributed to their findings.”
Copyright 2024, VitalNews.org