The Conversation by Rebecca Atkinson 11/20/2021
You probably don’t realise it when you’re listening to your favourite song, but music has an incredibly powerful effect on the human brain. Singing, playing an instrument or listening to music have all been shown to activate numerous areas of the brain that control speech, movement and cognition, memory and emotion – often all at the same time. Remarkably, research also suggests that music can physically increase brain matter, which could help the brain repair itself.
More intriguing is the impact that music can have even in cases where the brain may not be functioning as it should. For example, studies show that for people with Alzheimer’s, music can often spark a reaction, helping patients access memories that were previously lost. There’s also evidence of patients who have suffered brain damage and lost the ability to speak that can still sing when music is played.