Music and Your Brain: 10-Minute Lesson

DuetIf I want fireworks in my brain, I’d better get back to practicing. That’s the message of a TedEd video by Anita Collins and Sharon Colman Graham, recently featured on National Public Radio. Take a look.

I’ve said repeatedly that creativity ≠ the arts, because too many people assume that if they can’t draw realistically or play cello like Yo Yo Ma, they are somehow not creative. But the arts ARE an essential vehicle for creativity—and it seems that music is particularly valuable in helping our brains work on all cylinders. It is possible that music improves memory, helps us use both sides of the brain, actually changes the structure of our brains (there is fascinating information in that link about brain function of musicians improvising while in MRI scanners!)

I’m always cautious about reading too much into our current level of neuroscience, since it is still in its infancy, but it is clear that music feeds our brains, in addition to our souls.

So in this season when music is so often in the air (and the television and the stores and every corner of the world), let’s embrace it. Let’s make some music, practice those dusty instruments, and teach the young people around us that their music matters.

Because it does.


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