In January, when Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded, it was unclear whether she would fully recuperate or regain her ability to talk. Giffords was injured on the left side of her brain near the section called Broca’s area that controls language.
However, recovery specialists have started using a unique, unexpected therapy to help patients recover their language ability: music. Even though we understand and create language on the left side of our brain, we understand music primarily on the right side. The way the brain relates to music is very unique. When we have a song stuck in our head or listen to a song by imagining it, our brain is very active as if we were really listening to that song. Neuroscience research has shown that music has an incredible impact across the entire brain. For example, earlier this year scientists in Montreal found that music actually creates a surge of dopamine, the neurotransmitter that communicates pleasure, scientifically proving why music makes you feel good. To read more about this study, see Jonah Lehrer’s article in Wired.
Because music relies on pitch and rhythm in addition to speech, it is interpreted in different parts of the brain, not solely the music or language areas. When rehabilitating injured patients like Giffords, rather than trying to redevelop the language area directly, this new therapy retrains the connections in the brain and creates a new language area in the music region of the brain. Giffords’s music therapist, Meghan Morrow compared to this approach to a highway detour in an interview with ABC News.
Learn more about language and the brain here.
In his book Musicophilia, neurologist Oliver Sacks traces other ways that music affects our brains. Music triggers long-lost memories in Alzheimer’s patients, and it can have a remarkable impact on Parkinson’s patients as well, including helping them regain movement. In a more mundane example, teachers also use the elements of music to help their students learn. As early as the ABCs, students acquire knowledge more efficiently when it’s tied to song.
How does music impact your brain and language processing? Have you had experiences with music that help you with words? Let us know.
Check out the story (and music!) of Melody Gardot Both are amazing.
This makes absolute sense in every way possible.
Specifically, singing, (church once a week), helps calm the breathing process throughout the day– even when not singing….
Fully orchestrated music with its complex tones and beatings (interference of higher-pitch phasing, moreso than merely performance rhythm) captures the natural sensibility-concentration (discernment of tone structure, moreso than the mere sensory alertness the Navy Seals use upon mission-engagement): But it also takes practice to hear as deeply as the master music composers.
But… death by jingles could be a terrible waste: “Go go go for Cheerios….”
No idea how music impacts my brain, if at all. I don’t have an MRI machine.
Some French guy once created an artificial language based on musical pitches called “Solresol,” but it failed to catch on.
That’s amazing. It only inspires me more to continue down the path of music.
♪ Fifty nifty united states from thirteen original colonies ♫
I can still recite all of the states in alphabetical order because of that stupid song.
It’s true. sometimes my teacher will beat on a desk and sing our assignments to us and we never forget what to do.
[...] Gabrielle Giffords and Kelly — We watched them both on the Telly – The Space Man on the earth — and the Strong Woman of Worth — with a voice that is missed in a Cowardly Congress that’s Smelly. — Let the Tax cuts Expire — from the Top down the spire, — With Mental Health Care for Arizona’s Tea Party as Welly. –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DEMOCRAZY, DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme and tagged Democracy, LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]
This is interesting. God forbid my family and/or I am in her condition, I know what to do.
I’m a writer; I write both stories and poetry. Often I listen to music to inspire me to write. I have a lot of instrumental music, and I find that when I sit back and listen to it, that it takes me many places and teaches me many things. There are countless worlds in one song, and an entire galaxy in an album.
yay im first , i had two brain injures but i only forgot a little about math and science
I can still remember all the books of the bible in order since learning them in a song in Sunday School over 40 years ago. As a result this approach strikes a chord with me.
Hah. I only suffer a little from drain bramage.
So music IS important! That’s cool that your brain uses lots of parts for music. Sad that schools consider it unimportant and have to decide whether musical education is worth as much as academic classes…
now im goin to listen to music even more then i do now
So what you are saying, is that if I listen to music in a different language, and I translate the song, I can learn that language?
wOw. isn’t this something? how, just by listening to music we can regain the language that some of us were born to know? i find it incredible! I love music & everytime I play it or listen 2 it, it takes my breath away. Every note, every lyric, every beat just makes me grateful for the brain that God gave me. =)
wOw. isn’t this something? how, just by listening to music we can regain the language that some of us were born to know? me, i find it incredible!
This shouldn’t be any wonder. Soothing music, especially classical, can help sooth brain wounds and lift morale of the patient, therefore speeding the recovery. Other songs with easy-to-memorize lyrics like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” can help specifically with repairing language.
well, I’ve learned all the presidents in order, all the states alphabetically, and every single king and queen of England.
Because they were all put to song! It’s also been proven that choir helps with phrasing (i.e. not reading like a robot) and band helps with math and science because of the patterns and fractions in music.
I’m tellin’ ya, music is a POWERFUL thing!
This is simply amazing. Hopefully this would be in widespread use
I can understand what you’re saying, A-18-K, I write sometimes, little bits and pieces here and there and i like listening to instrumental and really any type of music to help me. most of the time when i listen music though i just daydream haha :]P
Quite interesting. The wonderful part is we don’t have to wait until an injury to apply the techniques.
And yah that was also learned in dreams too. Hiding secrets will come after you in this life and afterwards.
I actually knew this a few years ago
Knew that it can help you learn I mean
i don’t know where to leave this concern, but I realized that there are words that are not here in dictionary.com. This is the first time I was not able to find the meaning of the word here. That word is HOAXSTER, taken from Reader’s Digest Asia September 2011 Issue, page 142.
I really hope someone doesn’t bring religion into this comment thread. Really, really hoping.
Music has also been known to help babies develop.
I am a musician and am currently trying to write a book on how music came to be, how music effects people, and what music has the power to do. My philosophical view is that music is one of the most powerful things on the earth(if not THE most powerful thing on earth). I believe this because music is more psychological than just understanding the words and sounds and because people are so naive of what it can do. I believe this to the point that music can literally tell you what to do without you even knowing. I believe that music can do much more than calm the savage beast, and this can clearly be seen by this tragic, yet hope filled, story. Perhaps one day, doctors will regularly prescribe “musical therapy”. Music can indeed do wondrous things. I know that from experience. As of now, i literally cannot go more than a day without music without going through symptoms of music withdraw.
i’m a prof. I’ve found that students pick up language and concepts easier when we use songs in class.
yea in my school our teacher used to help us learn the names of the islamic months by making it into a song, as well as abc.
but it does divert my concentration level. eg when i am studying and if i listened to a song before that, it would just keep filling my head and i cant get rid of it for a long time.
i have stopped listening to songs now cux they are not allowed by my religion except religious songs without musical instruments and i experience that my concentration problem has been cured alhamdulillah. my head’s never full of song so i can study peacefully now. alhamdulillah.
and when i listen to one of the nasheeds of Ahmed Bokhatir etc it’s delightful, peaceful, and pleasant music to relax me.
This reinforces my opinion that music is a very important intelligence and that its power should be harnessed by teaching it in all our primary schools. I have been a music teacher all my life and I am sad that the powers that be do not see this simple truth.
My mother had Alzheimer’s, and my siblings were terribly distraught because they couldn’t communicate with her effectively. I however had no such problem. You see, I became the choir director of the adult choir at my church in my early 20’s. My mother, who was a member of this choir and had been before I was born, taught me the parts to many anthems that the choir used to sing long before I took over. Even though I had the sheet music before me, she was bent on singing S.A.T.B for me. So I when she had this disease, I would sing some of the anthems such as the Hallelujah Chorus and Glorious Is Thy Name that we used to sing together in the better days. She would start singing with me, and in a few minutes, she would become lucid and we would have some sensible conversation.
Huh… Never knew that.
“This is Your Brain on Music” is another great book on the subjects of music and cognition.
The ae’s u see in spelling is a little on purpose hehe but yea
Music helps relax the brain. The brain registers and learns information better when it’s relaxed than it is stressed. One time I was up all night studying for an exam and played music while I was studying. If I didn’t have music on, I would’ve been really stressed, gotten bored of studying, and fell asleep. But I don’t always turn the music on when studying, but it does relax you when you’re stressed. It doesn’t work for everyone, everyone has his/her own technique and style of learning. I appreciate we have music in this world, music brings everyone together .
music is just straight awesome. EVERYONE like music in one form or another. haha i still sing the states song when i need to remember certain names of states or something like that.
This is really amazing and interesting! Definitively good news for patients with brain injuries. I find listening to music while doing homework helps me concentrate and if I need to remember a bulk of information I make up a song about it A great strategy.
my father is a neurologist, and an architect. His is an infinite influence to my sound work, mostly voice processing in text sound. stimulating the brain through sound is not mysticism, it is precision healing from the body to the body.
ya its very intersting
Interesting, but does it matter what type of music the patient/person listen too? E.g. which is better for a patient and/or person wishing to develop this particular area of the brain: Mozart or Green Day?
yap, this is really interesting and I know it’s work more than we expect but we should care about the selection of the songs because sad music make you sad and give you gloomy kind of imagination and happy and zest songs give you happy and fine imagines .
like poems children’s always remember with re-thyme. it’s work.
Brilliant! I’ve always worked better with music, and seen many posts on social networking sites stating things along the lines of “I can remember the lyrics to over 300 songs that span more than a decade, but I can’t remember the elements on the periodic table” etc.~ I wish we learned everything in song… I don’t think I would ever really forget!
that’s a very interesting piece of information. Music is lovely to hear and we spent time listen to it, so we are neither wasting time, but improving our brains as well.
I am now 80 years old.in 1950 i was in the U.S. Navy. i was in the engine room on a ship we had 4 large engines (G.M. 1278a’s) at full power the noise was oppresive.No ear protection. i would sit between the engines and think of a song and remember a complete song word for word. when the engines were shut down i could not remember the words no matter how i tried.After all these years i have thought about about this,and wondered about this, but who do you tell, and why.
It seems that, after music, the next strongest phenomena in bringing us back through time to relive an old experience is odor, aroma, smell.
Whenever and wherever I am when I smell a certain paint odor I am instantly 19 again and back in college, painting the walls of a new lab theatre I and other students were building in the basement of a dorm.
Music really makes me high… Now I know its because of the surges of dopamine.. I wonder how much my brain produces..?? I think more than required.. LOL!!
I work with loud anoying people. Thank goodness I have an ipod to block out the noise. It really helps me focus!!
Interesting idea. But it makes a lot of sense, my 3 year old picks up quite a few words from the songs we listen to. She does a decent job pronouncing both Exceptional and Collaborate thanks to both The A.N.T. Farm CD and Vanilla Ice.
When I lived in Japan I used to listen to pop music to learn words and phrasing. I felt like I could retain new Japanese phrases more if they had been part of a song I had learned. I wonder if the same concept was in play.
Music is such an important part of life, I believe. I can’t create or write music, but I surely can appreciate it, especially Baroque pieces. It conjures such inspiration, regardless of what type of music it is.
I may not care for some genres, like country or rap, but I realize that there is no such thing as good or bad music. It all depends on opinion, so that means that everyone should at least appreciate if not like the different genres of music.
I wonder if that’s why people who speak English as a second language seem to have a sing-song delivery.
Wow… very interesting. I listen to lots of music while I’m working on school work or anything of that sort and for the most part it helps my concentration. I love music for the character it contains. Especially classical. When you listen to classical music you can practically hear a conversation between the instruments and it always tells an interesting story. Music definitely encourages my creativity and, in many cases, helps me write.
Just google “the Mozart effect” and you will find lots of info on using music to enhance the brain’s capabilities. The name goes back to the 1991 book Pourquoi Mozart? by French academic Alfred Tomatis. The Wikipedia article is a good place to start learning about this.
My daddy says the music we listen to affects the way we live our lives. So we should listen to good, clean music.
Thank you for posting this! To learn more about music therapy, please visit: http://www.musictherapy.org
I agree with this study,most of the persons likes music a- lot is very good on lenguage.I am one of them.
hi. i am an English Translator . i just copy your text on my computer and read it.
thanks for writing this text.
god bless you.
I agree with this:))))<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3<3
Dopamine is right! But why is the loud music loved by males for the “rush” (not Rush) it causes, not equally loved by females i.e. the “turn it down! it’s too loud” whine I’m sure all males can relate with. Is it that the dopamine triggers adrenaline in males and not in females? Men are stupid and will damage their hearing for a “rush”? Female hearing is more acute? The hormone cascade triggers different reactions in females? Females are just lame and don’t get what loud music is all about? Females are jealous of the intensity of male emotion caused by loud music? I don’t know where to go with this? Help, anyone?
Interesting. I find that when I listen to music it helps me concentrate.
I had a skiing accident that resulted in severe brain damage when I was 12. I had excellent care and therapy during my month-long hospital stay, but only started full recovery by playing the piano in the lobby. This activity helped a lot in my neural “re-routing,” especially because it forced me to use both hands. Today, I play viola as part of a symphony and work as a writer. I am eternally thankful for music in my life and in my recovery. Music therapy for head injury patients is spot on.
English is my second language (Spanish is my mother tounge), and I can tell you that music helped a lot when learning new words and language structures when I first started learning English. I would listen to a song and read along the lyrics and whatever new word or new grammar I bumped into, I would remember it and learn it fast -all because of maybe the rythm of the song.I still keep on learning new words and structures through music. .
Music is also very suggestive of old memmories, so I think it’s a great thing that they’re using music to help bring back long-lost
memories to Alzheimer’s patients’s mind. Interesting article!!!
Actually yes, very interesting to see how much “power” does the mind have, in this case the brain is such a miracle, music is wonderfull, and I am very glad they tried this new theraphy. I bet it will help a lot of people in the future!
Well, Tobias, then why did you?
Just as much as it is true we are comprised of atoms and cells, organs and tissues, we are also made of music. Words, music, languages– it’s all vibration. That is why sound will be the medicine of our not so distant future.
I knew it… I stop listening music as much as I used to.
And now that I am trying to get back to my old ways… It make sense to read
this article that the only thing is doing for me
is to reassured that I was on the right track.
Search on “D a v i d I c k e – Decoding The Matrix”
For me yes. I think and write better when I have some music playing the in background.
So interesting! My first year of college, I was in choir and learned to sing Maurice Durufle’s Requiem in Latin. I do not speak Latin or understand the language, but still, 7 years later remember how to sing and pronounce almost all of the words of the Requiem. (it’s a very long piece).
yooooooooo does any body want 2 chat…….but yea thats koooolllll
This is a terrific learning tool. In elementary school my music teacher taught us the 50 states with a song. I still remember this song today.
Wow! is the word. I sing Indian classical music and I am a Technology specialist as well. The last few years of my life has been soaked in music and it surely feels good. The improved concentration I have in doing all tasks is tremendous, it is like my brain has been re-wired.
Very thankful to music…
My 13 year old son has his earphones on 24/7. He’s a bright kid with mild ADD. If he doesn’t have his music on, he will sit in front of his math and his mind will wonder. He can’t concentrate. With his music on, he has no problem doing the work. One time, I caught him playing Mozart on the piano while listeing to a rock song on his headphones. Something I could never do (nor want to). I’ve heard that music turns on/stimulates a part of the brain which is normally inactive in people with ADD. To answer Jay’s question about why men like lound music and women are always asking you to turn it down. Maybe it’s not a boys versus girls thing. Maybe it’s whether or not you have ADD, which is more prevalent in boys. Best wishes to Miss Giffords. She’s a fighter!
Many years ago, my Great Aunt was in a nursing home after a major stroke. She had no movement on one side, her face drooped and her speech was unintelligible…until a volunteer came to the nursing home and played the piano and everyone was singing. She sang along and her words were completely understandable.
This is really marvelous! I’ve always sensed that the way humans are able to engage with music is rather nuanced and complicated. This little article really gives composers like me some serious food for thought.
Sometimes, music tickles.
Isn’t this something! Believe it or not… I too had to have surgery in the left side of my brain in 1969. Left side is academic side/language, while the right is creative/music (this, music, I learn now and the like undestandably creative). I had aneurysm.
In the 2nd paragraph of article notes music is very unique to brain. It’s true (after reading, understanding the piece, and remembering my past situation).
1969 was definitely a long period of time when I had the surgery and above all I was a teenager and had very little knowledge regarding anything, that and English lang.
I need to relate a story and little about me (and I am sorry because you’ll naturally be bored; however, I don’t know any other way). Currently, I undergo a very difficult situation rendered by my postsecondary school (U of T, authority; since July 2008). Because of this, I have taken up visiting maundirs/temples; otherwise, I am a non….
I live in Oshawa, Ontario,…. I have a driving license, but no car since 2002. So I have no choice but to take public transport(s), sometimes 3 or 4 to get to my destination; hence, I am always late reaching my chosen temple. It was on one Sunday, I heard some enchanting and fantastic Sanskrit mauntrau (to you mantra), I too joined in quietly and pronounced and chanted along; I hummed after words and much later as it churned continuously/continually in my head/brain; it went on for minutes, hours and even days. I felt better. The feeling was so profound, I can’t describe. I was happy, at peace, some kind of bliss. As I was feeling good, I thought of it as definite healing, which I needed to feel better from my noted postsecondary school’s activity/behavior to a student aged 63 (last year)… alone, and, of course, issues of race, class, forgive me, COLOUR too among many…. I think this must be told.
To come back to the original, so it is DOPAMINE, the neurotransmitter that surges/secretes in the brain upon listening to music and the like is the key. Dopamine is something that gives pleasure, and from this one naturally feels good; feeling good helps, possibly, focusing, concentrating on learning. (English is not my first lang and after 1969 I too listened to top of the pops in England under Jimmy Savile, Tony Blackburn disk jokies … I too learned the words, sentences etc from music/songs. I won’t be surprised if it was kind of same process, perhaps, going on in me by myself)
Now/Then music’s pitch and rhythm come to act to play in the drama along with essential speech. All “interpreted in different areas of brain…” meaning I hope left and right side of brain (or else I’ll be totally lost) because to me left is for academic/lang and right deals with creativity, that is, music and such. As pitch and rhythm like to mix and mingle with each other or among one another with speech…the genesis of new reality—new lang—begins here, creative side right side, to take charge to give birth—NEO-LANG area—that must learn and recognize that what used to belong to a permanent domain to lang area/left side. No more. The left brain is weak …
“Brain is fluid,” I was told by my local library head when the highly educated gentle man heard that I was ALMOST to finish my bachelor’s degree….
PS: Forgive me for the length and poor writing.
Cool. Music help me to stay focus
Music helps you remember your childhood,and everything you see growing up,especially a girl or someone you loved.
Interesting that no one mentioned that music can be an irritant as well. I’m 89 and well remember when I was between five and eighty years old how I disliked the syrupy Wayne King or Guy Lombardo sounds my aunt Stell loved and forced the girls in her band to play. Mama was one of them, on sax or drums. Then the utter exhilaration Mama and I felt when we knew “The Jigs were coming to town.” bringing with them the strong, wonderful beats that we needed to come alive. The down part was when they left and took their beat and our life with them and left us bereft knowing they wouldn’t be back for a long, long time. That was in Dead Moines (as mama called it) Iowa. Later it was Dizzy, Coltrane & Miles whom I miss terribly. Now I swim with people my own age or younger who love KJOY radio which is my present irritant. I fell 8 ft onto the back of my head(broke nothing) but my taste in music never changed. Two houses recently sold to lovely black ladies and I’m so happy. They will probably like the music I like best.
For Christians, we learn that the purpose of human creation is to praise God. In fact, if you read the last book of the Bible, it seems that we will do nothing else in heaven but praising God through songs. No wonder music is an integral part of our existence.
classical music stimulates the learning process
classical music stimulates the learning process………….
I agree, humans naturally favor music, its a part of who we are. That’s why there’s so much things in our lives that involve music: the radio, advertisements, games, TV shows, etc. Music can also help us learn English, how do you think everyone knows the alphabet? The ABC song! And haven’t you ever watched those videos where little kids learn things by rapping or singing them? This article is so true and interesting!!!
our physics professor once encouraged us in sitting for SAT exam. He quoated the name of a research paper that shows how music helps the psyche to learn 1000 words a day.
Isn’t it AMAZING???????????????????????????????????????
Absolutely agree with this… I teach jr. high students and my class can’t just get started if I don’t have the CD player on.
It makes my students concentrate the most. It’s very interesting knowing how they learn by this method. It’s just amazing! =D
Raymond – true, but it doesn’t have to be orchestrated at all though to involve acute sensory perception from hearing. it can be as simple as an environmental sound.
Actually the words with melody made our brain stimuli and increase its efficiency to hear, understand,and keep the words for long time thats why it would may be helpful for recovery of neuropathy …..so let it is the time to make experiments n discoveries
It certainly soothes my nerves but to forget keeps me fit .
The referenced article in Wired magazine talks about how anticipation and peak musical experiences are implicated in the release of dopamine and ultimately, in feelings of pleasure. My goodness–imagine what J. S. Bach could have done had he had access to these startling insights of modern science.
@ Tobias Mook
Too late! Somebody already brought religion into this thread. Oh wait! It was you!
music is my life when it com i feel this is gorgeous presence of music
I found this out myself last year when I had two concussions in the same year. I had a real hard time reading books for any length of time and had trouble remembering words.
I remembered an Alzheimer’s patient at a nursing home I’d volunteered at years ago and how she couldn’t speak or feed herself, but when someone played an old song she’d hum along.
I put on music and was finally able to get through a page in my favorite book. It’s been a year now, and I’m doing much better. Still have some problems, but I’ll never forget the small victory I had in my recovery the day I found my “back door” back into what has always been an important part of my life.
Does it have to be only the type of music that the individual likes?
i am a skin patient suffering since seven years and i can grantee that music really soothes my nerves and helps me overcoming all the anxiety of mine of the whole day …. really a nice article …. loved it
Music can be seductively attractive, it can be listened to because it can haunt you, words you wouldn’t attune to hadn’t they been in bewitching tones. It can be dangerous, it can be an escape route and reality can be fled from. Some of the most stupid things are sung, they are not said.
Every time i study my lesson, I always listen to music. It helps me on remembering the words that I studied. Sometimes I create music from my examination topics and I suddenly got perfect! For me music is the best way in remembering something!:)
well with me, stepping away from music for a moment usually I remember words and their definitions better if there is a memory attached to it. Music helps to string words together, and you build memories of words from catchy jingles, rhymes, songs which are inevitably likely to stick with you and pop up, when you feel something special or try to recapture a moment.
I’m wondering why people who stutter can sing without stuttering?
Amen, RVargas21. I have unintentionally learned so much Japanese just from getting the theme songs to Japanimated shows caught it my head. Sing-alongs taught me the Spanish alphabet and many common words when I was young. And we can’t forget “The Slinky Sevens”. Though, really, I’m astonished you could learn anything. English is my first language and I can still hardly tell what most songs are saying! Kudos!
Please note, I suspect musical overdosage leads to DISTRACTEDNESS AND COMPULSIVE TENDENCIES. Especially, if one makes a habit of trying to force listening to music over top of reading or solving equations. Must be a result of music’s repetitive nature.
DON’T OVERTLY MAKE YOUR KIDS LISTEN TO CLASSICAL MUSIC AT BEDTIME. IT’S PERVERSE, I’M TELLING YA’!
Music for me is a great feel good. for example today, it’s cold, I listened to some reggae on my way to work, and I felt like it was a warm day, in the sun. wonderful!!!!
[...] How music helped Gabrielle Giffords relearn words | The Hot Word | Hot & Trending Words Daily Bl…. [...]
yeah. oliver sacks.
There are trained professionals, Music Therapists-Board Certified, who have done this type of work with music for over 60 years here in the US. I teach at 1 of 75 colleges and universities that train Music Therapists in this country. It is not just the music but the trained music therapist using the music that makes the greatest impact, including with Gabby Giffords, who works with an MT-BC.
Hello, my name is Jose.
I suffered a terrible car accident on January 2010 as I was coming back from Mexico. I was ejected out of the car as it was doing flips, and both sides of the highway stopped and called 911. I suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) and went into coma for three weeks. As I woke up, I had lost much of my memory and what really helped me recover was music. The nurses let my parents know that TBI recoveries would take about 3-4 years to recover half way.
My parents told me I would not do nothing but scream day and night after I woke up from the coma. My dad would sometimes want to sleep and I wouldn’t let him because of the screaming. He one day thought of bringing my iPod to see my reaction, and was pleased to see me start mumbling words. He then sang the song with me… trying to get me to sing louder, and so I did. The day I was introduced to music again, my brain began to work better.
After the nurses told my parents how long it would take me to recover, everyone sees my recovery as a miracle. I am almost fully recovered in less than 2 years, and I know music was a big help with my recovery. I thank this article because I now see that science is improving by making studies about music, and how it helps the brain learn faster.
Foreign languages and music come very easily to me, and it’s been that way since I can remember. Both my parents were musicians, so I was exposed to a lot of different musical elements when I was still in the single digits. I’m convinced that having used those areas of my brain constantly when I was little is the reason I’m been able to continue studying so many languages now (in my 20s) when language acquisition is supposed to get more difficult with age.
This article explains why after I listened to a bunch of Backstreet Boys songs (which I have not listened to since I was eight) I started getting flashbacks of bits of my past which I have forgotten about.
i luv music already
Things about music:
1. Helped me become less stressed
2. Makes me have fun
3. Improves memory by making me memorize the lyrics
4. Listening to classical music while studying makes you do better on tests
Mike Rowland (The Fairy Ring, Silver Wings etc) and I have been working with brain trauma and special educational needs researching and identifying how music changes and affects cognition and motor skills for some time. In part we use singing, and in part we have been using Soundbeam, a sensor which stimulates physical responses.The sensor enables the ’student’ or patient to play and create music, when language and words are more difficult to attain. However, the bottom line is that the musical mind,(see Paul Robertson of the Medici Quartet too on this) the source of our ability to think ‘in’ music (as most of us do) can be utilised, like another muscle,as stimuli to the neurological impulses needed to function. Vocalisation leads to verbalisation and words unfold along and from the melodies of the mind. In Alzheimer’s patients songs are remembered long after day to day words have been forgotten. It might imply that the primary senses of being are not the five physical senses, but mental, and emotional. Jana Rowland
I completely relate to this article. I have left temporal lobe epilepsy, and seizures occur in the language area of my brain. A symptom of the seizure would be that I could not speak, or it would come out as nonsense. As a result, I had the left front portion of my hippocampus and the left amygdala removed my senior year of university. Because of this I was compelled to learn about the brain, and majored in neurobiology and psychology.
I have always displayed a dominant right brain and had difficulty with some left-brain subjects. Age 4 through university I took piano lessons and composed music. I played easily by ear (which I heard is more right-brained) and found it more difficult to read the notes (which I heard was more left brained), so I often sounded out a piece I heard on the radio and enjoyed playing some songs with my eyes closed. In addition, I had difficulty learning English, Spanish, and French, yet found Mandarin (a tonal and pictorepresentative language) very easily. I heard phonetic languages (such as English, Spanish, French) use the right brain, whereas pictorepresentative ones use the right brain. I found the musical (the pitch , rhythm,etc…) aspect of Mandarin Chinese made it really easy to pronounce the words, and the smaller size of the vocabulary (in relation to Spanish or French) and easier grammar made it easier to learn.
Recently I graduated from law school and was studying for the bar. I found law school difficult, not only because of the size of the reading, but because I had to memorize so many facts and rules (which is not my forte as it is a left brained ability). However, during the finals and the bar I found that if I put the words to music I could remember them so much easier. I found myself singing them in the shower and in my head while in public. As this article reads, the music probably enabled me to actively memorize key legal words and easily recall them during the exam, despite the difficulty I have with my left brain and language center.
correction: I meant to say “phonetic languages (such as English, Spanish, French) use the LEFT brain”
However, I listen to melodically and structurally complex music such as melodic death metal, symphonic death/black metal and above all else mathcore (progressive metalcore) which all require some concentration to fully appreciate, or just flat out grabs your attention to a certain melody. This in turn shifts my (perpetually divided) attention away from the words I’m learning off a list and results in inefficiency in learning the words.
So, my thesis is, not all music will help you learn words XD
The story on the Wired website related to this article is very interesting. No wonder why it’s said that classical music aids in the learning knowledge.
Thanks for this brief and to the point reporting on what brain-based science is discovering treating trauma to the verbal portion of the brain. What science is proving now, is what music educators have observed in students and in working with senior citizens.
Now that most USA school music programs have been cut and children are not taught to sing, will we as a society have less ability to benefit from music?
I was listening to some music involving high speed beats and it made me read faster.
Dr. Oliver Sachs is one of the most inspiring and amazing men whom I have had the good fortune of knowing for many years, as my mother worked with him and his patients while I was growing up. He realized many years ago that people who suffered from Traumatic Brain Disorders of various degrees and could not walk or talk but were able to sing and dance. He has so many amazing stories – you can read his writings in the New Yorker or get a hold of his various books. It is beyond fascinating. His charity is called Music Has Power and we have raised a lot of money (still never enough) for this research as well as to help patients receive music therapy more and more.
i can see who is the musician and who is the clunker posting here. two ears, one mouth … music centers in our being allow us to praise more effectively…that is why they are there
45 Years ago I taught a class in music at the NC Cerebral Palsy Hospital which included my totally handicapped daughter. I was testing out the
theory that brain damaged people could learn if the message was sung to
them. One child, whose name I have now forgotten was about to be discharged from the hospital as hopeless. During my class I sung the alphabet letters and tried to get those who could to write their name. She did it. I grabbed the paper and rushed down to the Director of the program,a PT named Edna Blumenthal. She grabbed the paper and ran
to the Director. The child was kept in the hospital, given new therapy and today she is normal and has a college degree, is married and teachers school.
“Through the mesh of our perceptions music seems to reach
To the nerves we grow to notice how emotion colors speech.
Speed and pitch and volume held relaxed or urgent vibes
In the wordless cries and chatter of pre-neolithic tribes.
If the stimulus is missing, the pathways never grow
How far back does music go?”
–How Far Back Does Music Go, by Echo’s Children
Like treating the whole body, treating the whole brain is a wiser (and ultimately more efficient) way to go.
Sweet!! Music helps improve vocabulary?! I LOVE music!! I usually learn vocab through reading books, but this is WAY better!! Sign me up!!
That’s pretty cool. I do like music.
I lay in a induced coma from a car accident, coded 3 times, 110 broken bones the Dr. said if I lived I would be vegetable and never walk they asked my loved ones what makes Nedra happy they said music, so they put head phones on me and I started getting better. I remember a dream where I was dancing and so happy, so yes i do walk and talk and make music now!
perhaps they can let us listen to music during english class
ch3ru,I love languages and admire those who speak quite a few languages. . I’m curious,how many languages do you speak if I may ask?
Now i know why I can’t get a song out of my head
I believe there is a connection between “God” (or the collective consciousness) and math and music.
Yes, Lucifer created music and was God’s worshipleader till his fall.
The books of Psalm, Song of Solomon, Proverbs and Isaiah reinforce music, songs and worship. Not exhaustive list though.
Pregnant women are better off with listening to worship songs or classical music…they produce clever children it seems.
I studied the drums after 4 rounds of intensive chemo back in the early 90’s. I had a notion it might help bring me back. I was unable to write my name , read a simple sentence, or recall a simple statement. It was a struggle- but it worked after 3 months of study- my memory started coming back in short bursts- like videos in my head. I really believe using my brain to study music was the best therapy I could gotten . I mastered the drums and now I study the harp. I unfortunately worked in a moldy school that poisoned me and took me back to the bottom line.Once again after getting medical treatments the notion of music came back to me. I wanted to see if it was just a fluke the first time. There definitely is some sort of relationship between the sound of music and healing. For some unknown reason playing the harp helps me manage my pain. My oncologist wants me to play for the Oncology ward in the near future. That is my goal- to give back- even if it’s just a moment or two of relief.
Music possesses amazing powers to help heal, relax, and invigorate. It soothes the savage beast.
Hi! I found your blog on .Its nicely written but it taught me to be a great deal.
[...] When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, the bullet wound was affecting her brain near the area that controls speech. It was unclear whether she would be able to speak again. But through music therapy, she was able to start regaining her speech and vocabulary! Check out the article here. [...]
[...] When Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot, the bullet wound was affecting her brain near the area that controls speech. It was unclear whether she would be able to speak again. But through music therapy, she was able to start regaining her speech and vocabulary! Check out the article here. [...]