Some of my happiest childhood memories are marked by my love of learning and creating. At the age of 8, I fell in love with the piano and I believe the years of classical piano training not only increased my capacity for learning and creating, but also increased my ability to alter my behavior based on these new experiences.
Research shows that the practice of reading and playing music simultaneously requires one to use both sides of the brain -- the logical left side and the creative right side. I believe music training and neuroplasticity go hand in hand as a result of this whole brain "cross training" thinking.
Neuroplasticity can be simply defined as the brain's ability to reorganize itself, alter its behavior, by forming new neural connections throughout life. As adult learners in this digital age, the ability to creatively problem solve with cognitive flexibility and laser sharp attention has never been more important. I believe its never too late to learn how to read music and play an instrument. Here's a list of cognitive functions that will improve as a result of whole brain music cross training:
- Organization, planning and time management
- Increased ability to focus, pay attention
- Cognitive control and flexibility
- Memory (input and output)
- Problem solving and decision making
“Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. Music evokes emotion and emotion can bring with it memory." – Dr. Oliver Sacks
Thoughts on Neuroplasticity