Listen to Music - It Can Save the Brain and Make It Grow

Music Mandatory for Life

My educational research experience agrees with the reports of major universities and the Kennedy Center for the Arts. Music is mandatory in society and nearly all societies use music.

These show that speaking grammatically correct language to an infant or young child, infant through K, along with providing exposure to music and the arts, create the necessary gray-matter and white-matter brain cell connections via active cell axon (signal transmitter) proliferation and growing synapses (signal "jump points") in the infant and childhood brain.

The same is true for the adult brain and even for injured child and adult brains.

Listen Whole

Language, music, and arts all have mathematical components. They set the stage for mathematics learning and understanding, particularly.

Brain cell (neuron); Richard Mobbs. Adult brain cells do not stop growing, proved by MIT research. Music can stimulate growth in brain cells, adult or child.
Brain cell (neuron); Richard Mobbs. Adult brain cells do not stop growing, proved by MIT research. Music can stimulate growth in brain cells, adult or child. | Source
One Synapse
One Synapse | Source

Music: Hearing and Non-Hearing

Hearing and mimicking language, hearing music, and exposure to arts also create additional synapses in the brain.

These synapses are "jump points" across which data signals from axons travel between 2 cells or among many cells in a network. The more synapses together with increasing numbers of transmitter axons, the greater the ability of the brain to learn and to apply information. IQ rises. Music does this for most humans.

As with any trend, there are exceptions. However, even the deaf can benefit, proven by the fact that the world's number one percussionist, including the very musical xylophone, is profoundly deaf since age 12 -- She is Dame Evelyn Glennie of the UK.

American (and other) Sign Language accesses both language and movement (exercise) processing; therefore, deafness does not eliminate language as important. Language is irrevocably linked with personality and culture in an individual. Music and arts make up culture, along with other elements.

Language, music, and arts all have mathematical components. They set the stage for mathematics learning and understanding, particularly.

In the late 1960s, Ohio State University and other major education facilities ensured that a tape of Baroque Music was packed with every math textbook, because that style of music increased mathematics learning when it was played while the student studied mathematics. In leaning programs at a branch of the company PIC in Ohio from 1995 - 2005, this type of music was shown to increase learning in all core subjects.

In addition, a group of approximately two dozen summer program 7-8th grade youth in 1996-1998, raised their reading scores from 3rd - 4th grade to 6th-8th grade through drawing pictures, under the instruction of a certified art therapist.

Music was also played. In short, the more they drew, the better these youth were able to process spoken and written language. The better they could process language, the more they could write in a cohesive way that made sense. The more they could do this, the more they were able to relax and smile.

In Pre-K classes for 3- and 4-year-olds in our public school systems in the 21st century, the agenda is to talk to the children, do art with them, play music and have them march and dance to it, and to exercise in other ways for 3 hours a day. These children are entering 1st grade later, having already learned ABCs, numbers from 1 - 100, and other skills, almost as a natural occurrence -- Drills and memorization have not been needed.

We cannot skip the preparation of language, music and arts for the brain and go directly to memorization drills.

Education Through Music - Other Subjects Enhanced by Music

Music = Language = Mathematics

On the other hand, sit a baby in a corner in a crib unattended all day, as some youngsters do that have had children of their own, or sit a young child in a chair or in their room and ignore them until they are 6, and they will most often turn out not very bright and too much toward sedentary, for the rest of their lives. Some of this can be overcome in some individuals, but this is the general trend. Certain computer games, educational PC programs, and even music and action on TV can counter some of these affects; and some of these children benefit from this. Others of these children become isolated, aggressive, and unable to develop social skills.

The importance of music, then, is why our nation's school systems should not cut out music and the arts, as some systems have done. Music, arts, and exercise, create the necessary connections in the brain that are required to ready the human child to be able to learn, understand, and perform in reading, mathematics, science, and other subjects.

We cannot skip the preparation of language, music and arts for the brain and go directly to memorization drills. It is not working. However, these have always been the items cut from school budgets with the excuse that they are "frivolous."

Hands-on learning through actually doing projects that combine several subjects together helps children and youth that have not been exposed to the simulation of early language, music, and arts. Most of these individuals are better able to learn this way that through memorization. How much better they could learn if they had had the stimulation of music, the arts, and language processing via listening, early on.

Music and participation in music are very important elements of human brain development. Human cultural development includes music, arts, and language. It must all be preserved and encouraged.

Oliver Sacks - Music and Parkinson's Disease

Brain Music Therapy

More by this Author


Comments 51 comments

stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Super Hub! I can't agree with you more!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

O wow, you commented fast! Your brain is very smart!


stephhicks68 profile image

stephhicks68 8 years ago from Bend, Oregon

Lots of music instruction growing up. :-)


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Lucky You!


cgull8m profile image

cgull8m 8 years ago from North Carolina

Great Hub, it will help the elderly and also to us to exercise our minds.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

You're right, cgull8m. I need to listen to more music, come to think of it.


Jana Murray 8 years ago

I find it fascinating that even deaf people can benefit from music, fantastic.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Yes, indeed. Evelyn Glennie often performs barefoot so she can feel the vibrations more clearly form the stage she stand upon. She's made a Film entitled Touch the Sound.


Zsuzsy Bee profile image

Zsuzsy Bee 8 years ago from Ontario/Canada

Patty! Life would really be awfull without music. I often thought what a shame that the deaf can not hear any of this beauty. Having read your hub I feel better...

great HUB regards Zsuzsy


Hovalis profile image

Hovalis 8 years ago from Australia

Great hub! I've actually read in more than one place that listening to classical music before trying to memorise something can increase your chances of retention. I hadn't realised why it worked until reading this hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Zsuzsy - I'm glad you came by to read this, Evelyn Glennie is supernatureal almost, but I've read where the deaf brain can rewire itself to understand music.

Hovalis - Thanks for coming to read my Hub -- Music does really work and it's fun! I always used music to help memorize poetry in high school :) If I srudied it right before I went to bed, by music in the background, I would awake and know the whole poem in the morning!


Sharon Rosen Lopez 8 years ago

Great post Patty! As a speech/language pathologist, I've seen some phenomenal results of therapeutic listening systems with children who have various behavioral, fine/gross motor and /or speech/language needs. There's an occupational therapist, Sheila Frick, who travels nationally (internatonally?) training people in use of her therapeutic listening cds. Intriguing stuff for sure! I myself trained with Sheila sevreral years ago to learn about her system.


MrMarmalade profile image

MrMarmalade 8 years ago from Sydney

You would think the seven people in our family would be great musicians.

Val's Uncle was a prodigy in the land of Violins. I am tone deaf and Val knows and understands.

Five children all love musice none of them anygood.

Val and I both love Classical music.

A friend of ours has had three major Operations in three weeks. Three weeks later she is leading an orchestra.

Great Hub


Abhinaya 8 years ago

I know nothing about music Patty but my son wants to learn keyboard.I just read music increases memory so I thought I'll put him in music class.Do you think it can be learnt easily at any age?I would like you to answer this because I want to know what would be the best instrument for him to learn.He is almost 10.


Garry Nelson profile image

Garry Nelson 8 years ago from Hawaii

Great hub. When I was a boy I used to draw all the time. I was told by an old man once who had seen my drawings to draw several pictures every day for as much of my life as possible as it would increase my IQ.

I hope that is sort of relative, the hub just brought it to mind.


Peter M. Lopez profile image

Peter M. Lopez 8 years ago from Sweetwater, TX

This is truly a fascinating topic. I was going to write a hub on it. I'm glad somebody did, and I'm glad it was you, Patty.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Abhinaya - - I have seen senior citizems in their 70s learn piano, so I would let your child do keyboards. Keyborads exercise both sides of the brain very well!

Music stores that sell musical instruments often have teachers on staff that would let him try several instruements, just to see what he would like best, You would not even have to buy anything, if they are like the instructors in our city's shops.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Sharon, if you have links to associated websites, I would be glad for you to post them here!

Garry - yes, art and music work hand in hand, veru much related.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Mr. Marlade - a delightful comment from you! My father played violin, but never after high school. An ancestor played accordion as well. Myself, brass wind instruments (comment open for joking, I'm afraid).

Peter - thank you for your nice comment!


Bonnie Ramsey profile image

Bonnie Ramsey 8 years ago from United States

Awsome hub! I gre up in a very musical family (and still, today). When I was in school, I had a problem with memorizing things. My 2 greatest loves have always been writing poetry and music. So I would take what I was trying to learn and make either a song or poem out of it to help me remember it. It also makes learning more fun and interesting. I never did, however, make my Mama understand that I COULD concentrate on my homework with music going lol. Wish I would have had this hub then! Great job!

Bonnie


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks Bonnie!

Our inner city schools teach math and science to younger elementary school students with poetry and music, and their standardized test scores are rising without dull, opressive memorization! It works! Yippeeeee! I am SO glad you shared your experience here with us.


Angela Harris profile image

Angela Harris 8 years ago from Around the USA

I've read about listening to Baroque music enhancing learning ability. It's a fascinating subject, as is this Hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thank you Angela! I am glad you stopped by. Music is fasincating by itself and so is briain research, but together the combination it is inspiring.


Solorya profile image

Solorya 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Great hub, I couldn't agree more. Fascinating that even people who are deaf can benefit. I wonder if they've done studies on parents who have played music to their children who were still in the womb--we have a picture of my mom with headphones on her belly!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

I have not read the latest summary of all studies, but the studies I have read are kind of split - many think it does some good, others do not. It does seem, though that after 23 weeks after conception, generally, the brain is developed enough in the baby to possibly benefit from music in that the brain cells can begin to make the conenctions discussed above. I'll have to read the latest summaries. I don't think music can hurt, though.


jboland profile image

jboland 8 years ago from Chico, CA

Patti, great hub. You are so right about the power of music develop brain power. I need to listen to a lot more music lol. Have you ever seen the opensource gnaural software? Works in much the same way, I use it a lot while I'm working at the computer you can find it at -- gnaural dot sourceforge dot net -- It's pretty cool. Thanks for the great hub.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for the tip jboland; I'll certainly check it out.


midnightbliss profile image

midnightbliss 8 years ago from Hermosa Beach

love your hub, thanks for sharing those important information.


sean 7 years ago

Thank you for your interesting post.i've already bookmarked it .


The Daily Decibel 6 years ago

Dear Patty,

Thank you for your article. While we recognize that music can be wonderfully therapeutic, we are interested in a critical analysis of which music is recommended and why one type rather than another. You cite Baroque, but what about "rock" or "rap". For instance, why Bach -- and not the Beastie Boys. Or, why Vivaldi -- instead of Van Halen. We believe such a distinction is important in studies of the therapeutic benefits of music.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Daily Decibel - Thanks for mentioning this work on your blog. Of the extensive body of materials that you and other are reading and reporting, notice this short 2006 piece from Rutgers University

http://ur.rutgers.edu/focus/article/Music%20helps%...

Harvard and the Kennedy Center for the Arts Foundation have collected much more.

Evidence also exists that rap interferes with human heartbeat, but then, so does syncopated beat, in these studies.


The Daily Decibel 6 years ago

Thank you Patty for the Rutgers link - that is useful info. We're really fascinated by this neuromusicology, if that's the proper term. One important facet, we think, of the Rutgers study, is that it contained a control group, enhancing its validity. "The faculty members studied two groups of classes at Essex County College. In the first group, the instructor played baroque-style music in the background during the first month of the semester. The second group, taught by the same instructors, was not exposed to music during class time." Thank you very much! And thank you once again for your posts!


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Many additional controlled studies exist inorder to form the body of literature, dating to the mid-1980s that I am aware... Search MEDLINE, ERIC, and neurological databases and journal archives; as well as Harvard and Kennedy Center.

I am enjoying your blog and also advocate for more quiet and quieter music more often.

Cheers!


Wendy Krick profile image

Wendy Krick 6 years ago from Maryland

Lovely Hub. I don't think I could live without music.


The Daily Decibel 6 years ago

Patty, is it possible for us to obtain full texts without any budget, with the understanding that we are an entity primarily engaged in research? We approached Taylor & Francis Corporation, for example, but they only offer a 30-day trial. We just don't have the budget to spend on journals.

Thanks for your nice comments on our blog.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 6 years ago from North America Author

Daily Decibel - If you have a nearby University with a music college, that is your best chance for free materials. The research should be archived. Best success to you!


Wayne Brown profile image

Wayne Brown 6 years ago from Texas

Thank you for an interesting and well-developed read. I love music and the environment it creates and can change for that matter. I think schools should have music playing softly in the background during the entire classroom experience. It would not be a distraction, quite the contrary, I think, chosen correctly, it could enhance the learning environment as you have pointed out here Thanks for sharing this info! WB


stratocarter profile image

stratocarter 5 years ago

music=mathematics !!!

Great!


SweetMarie83 profile image

SweetMarie83 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Excellent hub! I did a lot of research when I was in college about the affect of music on baby's brains and found it fascinating. Then I discovered the affects of music and language first-hand through my nephews: my first nephew was born when his parents were young and not exactly the most responsible people. He had speech and learning delays that were overcome once he joined a child care program and interacted with other children and adults. Then when my baby nephew was born, his parents, being older and more responsible, talked to him, played with him, and at the age of 10 months, he's an absolute genius.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

The interaction greatly affects language input and output processing, more so than music. Quite a difference you saw!


Triena 5 years ago

Interesting and informative article.


vinylvenue profile image

vinylvenue 5 years ago from Hampshire, UK

I think it's such a shame that Art/Music is always the first thing to be cut from school budgets. They should read your article!!


acuad12 profile image

acuad12 5 years ago

This song is great! I hope you guys enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDOLqPOkvSo


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 5 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for that link!


jtyler profile image

jtyler 5 years ago

This is an interesting article. I didn't read all of it yet; I'll finish it later. I think listening to more complex music such as jazz and classical would help even more.


Champ40 profile image

Champ40 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia

These days unfortunately young people are distorting the effects of music with drugs, it's rather sad.

I started playing the organ at the age of 7, my mum always says it was the ONLY thing I didn't break! After that I moved on to the piano.

Being able to play a musical instrument is something I highly recommend.

I wish schools in my local area would see the connection between music and learning, my kids regularly come home from school saying this and that was boring.


Brain music therapy 4 years ago

Institute for Advanced Psychiatry is a leading depression center in central Texasproviding NeuroStar Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation TMS Therapy


KC Pickens profile image

KC Pickens 4 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

Fantastic article. It has always seemed like common sense that a well-balanced education proves to be a better education. I am glad to see the science behind it. If only our political representatives and policy makers were well-informed and truly had the interests of our nation's children at heart.


chef-de-jour profile image

chef-de-jour 4 years ago from Wakefield, West Yorkshire,UK

We all need more music and poetry in our lives and the younger the better if it's given with honesty and heart. The science behind it all has a place in our understanding of how these things work and you've done a great job explaining that.

Thanks for the positive stance.


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 4 years ago from North America Author

Thanks for your views on poetry and music. I agree!


smartmusic profile image

smartmusic 4 years ago

Music can be therapeutic to the mind and body and improves quality of life to those who have it in their life. Great lens, thank you.

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