What was the last music you listened to today? How did that music, song or melody make you feel? Or more importantly, how did it make you think?
There is a study that is out to discover whether brains that have been trained musically are more stronger and able to resist the degenerative effects of dementia brought about by old age compared to those brains that are not in any way exposed or trained musically.
This Canadian-made study wants to discover if kids who are given early training in music has a more cognitive edge – in terms of writing, reading and over-all verbal skills – as compared to other kids who have no training in music in any way whatsoever.
The study has been given a grant of more than one hundred fifty thousand dollars by an organization based in California that is related to any and all kinds of research in music.
The researchers who want to conduct the study believe that the human brain is extremely moldable and extremely malleable especially when one is in his childhood and until one reaches full-fledged adulthood.
The researchers hope that once it has been proven that early training in music has a positive effect on how the brain functions – and this functioning goes beyond anything that is musically related – it is therefore essential that music be involved in a child’s early education. Music could also be well utilized as an effective strategy to rehabilitate a brain that has been, in any way, damaged due to disease or stroke.
Previous work done that is related with this study has been conducted in Germany wherein the brains of musicians were studied and wired in order to know how they process music and how music is actually able to trigger any changes – especially physical changes – in the hard wire of the brain.
This study was able to prove that musicians, believe it or not, have an enhanced auditory as well as sensory parts in the brain better than those who are not musicians. It was also seen that musicians who started early training have large areas in the brain, specifically the cortical, than those who started late.
The Canadian-made study will study children and the way their brains function as well as adults who are older and have prior training in music. The ages of the children range between four years old and six years old. The ages of the older group range between fifty to sixty five.
The children will be introduced to violin lessons as well as the piano. Both groups will be going through a battery of tests that will measure the degree of their perception and cognition skills. These groups will then be compared to those groups that are aged the same but have no training in music in any way whatsoever.
The EEG will be used to measure any electrical change in the rain. The MEG will also be used to measure any magnetic change. The MRI will also be utilized to obtain necessary information about the complex structures of the brain.
But basically, the goal of the study is to be able to find various ways and means to utilize music as an effective form of rehabilitation for human brains whose functions have been unintentionally hampered by degenerative diseases like stroke, heart disease, Alzheimers, accident or cancer, to name a few