Music and the Brain: Rhythm and Playing

Music and the Brain: Rhythm and Playing

  • Man’s use of the drum since the dawning of civilization may help explain why our brain is so innately attuned to respond to rhythm. Music with a steady beat serves as an auditory control mechanism for organizing all kinds of thought and movement.
  • From our early days in the womb when our inner rhythm entrained to the beat of our mother’s heart, to the countless times we moved and sang along to our favorite song, to those nights in the club dancing to a steady beat with 1,000 strangers — our nervous system, our brain and our metabolism were being programmed by the rhythm.
  • Recent studies show that long-term musical training and expert level performance are associated with enhanced features of the brain’s actual anatomy in both auditory and motor regions.
  • Insights gained from scientists and doctors studying these processes are being applied to groundbreaking treatments for people suffering from autism, ADHD and Parkinson’s disease, as well as being used to help with stroke rehab and other learning disorders.
  • Whether you are a professional musician or a beginner, a therapist or a parent, it is important to realize that playing music can engage more areas of the human brain than any other known human activity.
  • In addition to acting as a mega-vitamin for a healthier brain, playing music can enhance your and your loved ones’ overall well being and quality of life.
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