Maria Popova: “How Playing Music Benefits Your Brain More than Any Other Activity”

I saw a few people posting this piece a couple of weeks ago, describing the effects on the brain of practising a musical instrument. A couple of the claims seemed dubious to me, so I held off on mentioning it until I’d run it by my favourite musical neuro-skeptic. She was broadly skeptical, and concluded thus:

I would say there are some very right things in the video, but they are either over simplified or speculation presented as fact…

What is extremely true of musicians is every time you pick up an instrument (or sing) you are reinforcing a whole host of synapse highways that in turn reinforce things like muscle memory.

So there you have it. The video’s entertaining, but keep your skeptic hat on.