Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Research Shows Music Training Valuable to Older Adults

The Daily Muse

 Welcome to the Daily Muse feature of Music Makes Sense!  This daily update brings you up to the minute news about music and music therapy as it relates to our professions, events and individual lives.  You can follow the daily entries by subscribing to Music Makes Sense on Twitter or by "Liking" the Facebook page for Music Makes Sense.  Enjoy, and thanks for reading!

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Many years ago I was part of the Lowery Organ program for Wellness.  This program encouraged learning to play the organ as a leisure skill, but also as part of a more holistic wellness program.  As a music therapist, I have an intrinsic belief that active-music making can help maintain a healthy lifestyle in addition to providing some quantifiable physical results.  It is really nice when the research starts to validate our clinical experience!  

A new study, just released, provides further evidence that music training can help us in our older years.  The research points out that not only does significant musical training in your younger years impact some skills when you are older, but that older people can also benefit from musical training at any time!

One of the more specific findings in the research was that musical training helped people to have better timing in aural-cognitive processing that helped them distinguish consonants.  This skill was dramatic enough to make a difference in speech processes as well as hearing in noisy environments!  

The full news story is here:  Music Training has Biological Impact on Aging Process

You can find the research abstract here.  

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