250 W. Social Row Road | Washington Township, Ohio 45458

Keeping Our Brains Young With Music

March 13, 2023
If you want to firm up your body, head to the gym. If you want to exercise your brain, listen to music. Did you know that music provides a total brain workout? Research shows listening to music can reduce anxiety, blood pressure, and pain as well as improve sleep quality, mood, mental alertness, and memory.

At Austin Trace, we are always thinking of creative ways to enhance our residents' quality of life through brain benefits. Since playing and listening to music is a great tool to keep your brain engaged, we make sure to give our residents opportunities to do so. We are keeping our brains young with music! Last week we listened to the music of Bill Corfield for our brain work out.

Austin Trace residents listening to live music from Bill Corfield!

The Brain-Music Connection

Experts are trying to understand how our brains can hear and play music. Music is structural, mathematical, and architectural. It's based on relationships between one note and the next. You may not be aware of it, but your brain has to do a lot of computing to make sense of it. Listen to a new style of music that challenges the brain in a way that old music doesn't. It might not feel pleasurable initially, but that unfamiliarity forces the brain to work to understand the new sounds.

Active music-making positively affects neurotransmitters, like dopamine and serotonin, that influence your mood. Dopamine influences focus, concentration, memory, sleep, mood, and motivation. Likewise, serotonin impacts mood, sleep patterns, anxiety, and pain. Biomedical researchers have found that music is a highly structured auditory language involving complex perception, cognition, and motor control in the brain and can effectively be used to retrain and reeducate the injured brain. The limbic system, which is involved in processing emotions and controlling memory, "lights up" when our ears perceive music.

Music allows us to recall a memory from long ago and is even used as a form of therapy. Listening to music might bring back moments in earlier years that were memorable such as the first time you laid eyes on a spouse. If you want to keep your brain engaged through the aging process, listening to music is a great tool. Be sure to switch up your music genre to give your brain a good workout!

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