That's Music to My Ears

Aging effects lessened from musical training

(RxWiki News) There's nothing we can do to stop the process of aging, but there are some ways we can slow it down. People often times complain about hearing and memory loss. Well, music training can help.

Researchers suggest learning music can be good for aging. Learning music is like fine tuning the nervous system and exercising the brain to stay sharp. Learning how to play an instrument at an earlier age and continuing throughout one's life is beneficial in maintaining hearing and memory.

"Learn to play a music instrument now"

Northwestern University studied the effects lifelong music training had on problems associated with aging. A study was done with 18 musicians and 19 non-musicians. Researchers measured speech in noise, auditory working memory, visual working memory, and auditory temporal processing.

Nina Kraus and the research co-writers found that lifelong music training help with memory and the ability to hear speech in noise. This was probably due to the fact that music training involves recognizing sounds, patterns, harmonies and rhythms. 

Kraus says learning how to play music has been shown to be good for children and learning capabilities.

The Study

  • Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois
  • 18 musicians and 19 non-musicians age 45-65
  • Measured speech in noise, auditory working memory, visual working memory, and auditory temporal processing
  • People who play an instrument at age 9 and continue throughout life bested in speech in noise, auditory working memory, and auditory temporal processing
  • Musicians and non-musicians had almost identical ability in visual working memory
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Review Date: 
May 13, 2011