Monday, 20 February 2017

Music sharpens the brain (mine anyway!)

Research just published by Dr Dawn Rose at Herts University points to new ways that learning an instrument benefits children: it improves their 'fluid intelligence' and emotional wellbeing - and much more.

But it's not just kids who benefit.  Last September I picked up my flute for the first time in 30 years (I dropped it because I didn't have time to practice with three kids)  and joined a class playing traditional folk tunes.

We're encouraged to play by ear, which is a steep learning curve if you're used to relying on written music. But it's so worth it. When I've stopped banging my head against the wall in sheer frustration I can almost feel my brain synapses connecting - or whatever it is synapses do.

Afterwards my brain feels as if it's had a complete physical work out:  exhausted but flexing new muscles.  And it doesn't stop there.  Between classes I feel the benefits in so many other areas of my life: there's a new energy, a new clarity.   Beats Sudoku any day.


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