Music is the universal antidote to any ill, wounding or psychic break. We are soothed by melody and enraptured by harmonies that restore our inner resonances. Now we have evidence how music helps us learn and heal our memories.
Recent studies performed on music and cognition have revealed that learning to read and play music increases verbal memory. Scientists have also discovered that music stimulates the production of neurotrophic proteins in the brains of animals exposed to music. These proteins play important roles in regulating the development of neurons and in preventing neuronal death. Furthermore, mice that are exposed to music show significant improvement in their ability to learn certain positive behaviors.
It is likely that neurotrophic proteins homologous to those identified in animals are released in the human brain in response to listening to music and to learning to read and play music. The affects of such proteins would be especially evident in young children because the brain is highly receptive to cognitive stimuli in the early stages of development. However, learning is a life-long process. The benefits of the frenzy of neurological activity in infants and young children who are exposed to music or other cognitive stimuli are not necessarily permanent. The neural pathways of music may be formed at an early age, but if a child loses interest in music or stops listening to or playing music, the pathways, over time, will weaken.
If you’re feeling blue, use music to lift or mood or change the hue. A melodic beat resets the natural human rhythms of perception. A swelling chorus always restores the spirit and never diminishes — the end is always greater than our beginnings.