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ichadwick
05-04-2014, 06:58 AM
I've been researching music's effects on the human brain and have come across some interesting articles. Like this one:

Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons

news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience/)

and this one:

Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201311/musical-training-optimizes-brain-function (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201311/musical-training-optimizes-brain-function)

Nice to have that confirmed...

Ukuleleblues
05-04-2014, 07:08 AM
I've been researching music's effects on the human brain and have come across some interesting articles. Like this one:

Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons

news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience/ (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/01/140103-music-lessons-brain-aging-cognitive-neuroscience/)

and this one:

Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function

www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201311/musical-training-optimizes-brain-function (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201311/musical-training-optimizes-brain-function)

Nice to have that confirmed...

This is an interesting read also:http://daniellevitin.com/publicpage/books/this-is-your-brain-on-music/

chuck in ny
05-04-2014, 08:43 AM
nope, hasn't worked yet.

bborzell
05-04-2014, 09:03 AM
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-athletes-way/201310/video-gaming-can-increase-brain-size-and-connectivity

I'm waiting for the study that correlates staring at cats with increased synaptic uptake.

OldePhart
05-04-2014, 09:05 AM
As a software engineer I am always amazed by how many engineers and other technically inclined people tend to be musicians. At my last job you couldn't swing a cat without knocking out two or three people who were either in bands that gigged regularly or who were struggling to get a singer-songwriter career moving.

John

ichadwick
05-04-2014, 09:25 AM
This is an interesting read also:http://daniellevitin.com/publicpage/books/this-is-your-brain-on-music/
I'm reading Levitin's Six Songs right now. Interesting, although I'm not sure I agree with his simplification of musical genres.

ichadwick
05-04-2014, 09:26 AM
As a software engineer I am always amazed by how many engineers and other technically inclined people tend to be musicians. At my last job you couldn't swing a cat without knocking out two or three people who were either in bands that gigged regularly or who were struggling to get a singer-songwriter career moving.

John

Maybe that's just more proof you can't make a living at music and need a second job to pay the rent...

Ukejenny
05-04-2014, 09:29 AM
As a music educator, it always warms my heart to see this information being shared. You use a larger percentage of your brain - it literally lights up all over the place - when you are playing music. More than almost any other activity, reading/playing/performing/studying music stimulates the brain.

Students who are involved in a musical activity also score/do better in school. It is amazing!!!

kypfer
05-04-2014, 01:29 PM
Ukejenny wrote :
Students who are involved in a musical activity also score/do better in school ... when I was at school playing the guitar helped me score in other areas as well ;)

Teek
05-04-2014, 01:41 PM
Maybe that's just more proof you can't make a living at music and need a second job to pay the rent...

I think that is more tenacity and timing and some luck. My grandfather had already been a professional musician and bandleader for over a decade (he also led the NBC Orchestra on the radio) before he was brought in to work on the trigger mechanism at Caltech for the Manhattan Project. He was rebuilding engines on the side for his classic cars and had a machine shop in his garage to make his own car parts. I did not inherit the music gene (maybe I did but no one cared to teach me anything and my mother was a first violinist and played piano) but I did get the love for automobiles and motorcycles and added a love of aircraft! I figure better late than never so I'm happy to see these articles.

Sylvan
05-04-2014, 03:06 PM
Those are some good reads. Nice to see that playing music even helps us folks who are learning in midlife and never had the chance to take music lessons as a kid. :)

Yukon Cornelius
05-04-2014, 04:21 PM
I'll admit I've met some dumb musicians and some smart ones as well. The really smart ones had very little creativity. The average to higher average intelligence musicians were the best performers generally speaking.

Mau Loa Uke
05-11-2014, 02:13 AM
Musical Training Optimizes Brain Function ...

I have to agree. I just got my Uke two weeks ago. I'm in my mid-forties and this is my first musical instrument EVER. I feel so much smarter already!!!

phlatpicker
05-11-2014, 05:35 PM
Playing a musical instrument makes you smarter? You haven't met my brother-in-law have you?

phlatpicker
05-11-2014, 07:02 PM
Which reminds me: What do you call someone who hangs around musicians?
The drummer.

The Big Kahuna
05-11-2014, 07:46 PM
At my last job you couldn't swing a cat without knocking out two or three people who were either in bands that gigged regularly or who were struggling to get a singer-songwriter career moving.

John

This, however, highlights the fact that struggling musicians are so undernourished that they are easily rendered unconscious by the application of a low velocity bag of fur to the head. Please please please, donate your leftover food to participating musicians' shelters, so that they may offer snacks to these poor unfortunates.

ichadwick
05-12-2014, 01:02 AM
My own thoughts on the history of musicians and technology:

The role of music in society changed dramatically when communications technology changed/improved. Music went from a social/community/collective role to an individual in the late 19th-early 20th century. Technology made the audience less participatory, more passive. People stopped learning to read and play music and changed to listening and dancing when the radio allowed them to listen to others doing the work.

The use of song as community social bonding or in politics began to disappear and was pretty much unused by the end of WWII, outside of national anthems.

That accelerated with digitalization and the internet. But the Second Renaissance of the ukulele seems to be returning to communal musical activity. Uke groups spring up everywhere and people enjoy playing together. It's not just about the music: it's about community. And in that I agree with Levitin.

I disagree with some of his opinions on other sciences, however, and I've blogged about what I see as mistakes in his comments on natural selection, geology and animal behaviour. But that's something for another thread...

drbekken
05-12-2014, 01:29 AM
If you doubt that music is good for the brain, check this out - if you haven't seen it already...

http://youtu.be/NKDXuCE7LeQ

wodan22
05-12-2014, 02:14 AM
Which reminds me: What do you call someone who hangs around musicians?
A banjo player.

Fixed that for you. :p
(FTR, I am a banjo player)

Seriously though, the valedictorian and salutatorian at my high school were almost always band or orchestra kids.

OldePhart
05-12-2014, 02:15 AM
My own thoughts on the history of musicians and technology:
...

:agree: - I've said much the same thing for years. The advent of even the earliest recording technology pretty much heralded the end of music as something people do - changing it instead to something that most people only use. This change has had many subtle and not-so-subtle effects on music and society. Regional variations in folk music were all but eradicated within a generation and now, unless you are already a "name" in the business, you had better hew closely to the original if you are covering a song otherwise people view you as a hack who "can't play it right." Likewise, youngsters who were once encouraged as village or family heroes of a sort for being able to bring it with a lively jig on a fiddle are instead compared to professionally recorded music crafted in a studio with expensive equipment and entire production teams.

We now have auto-tune technology and even people with little or no ability or vocal training are routinely publishing "music." I'm one of those people who can often hear an auto tune at work and it is amazing how often it is used in current pop music. Singer blew a note? Don't bother making her record another track, that's too expensive, just let the auto-tune fix it. It's so bad I almost never listen to anything but oldies stations on the radio. I know a lot of people can't hear the auto-tune artifacts - my wife being one of them in spite of playing piano since she was a child - but for those of us that hear them it's like fingernails on a blackboard right in the middle of a song. Honestly, I would rather hear a singer throw an occasional flat note than hear the auto-tune "fixing" it.

Ukejenny
05-12-2014, 03:22 AM
Ukejenny wrote : ... when I was at school playing the guitar helped me score in other areas as well ;)

Well, of course, there is that... And let me add the back of the band bus was also fun...

Ukejenny
05-12-2014, 03:31 AM
If you doubt that music is good for the brain, check this out - if you haven't seen it already...

http://youtu.be/NKDXuCE7LeQ

This is great. Warms my heart.

wodan22
05-12-2014, 06:04 AM
Well, of course, there is that... And let me add the back of the band bus was also fun...

Sounds like you and I went to schools with similar band programs. :D

Ukejenny
05-12-2014, 10:26 AM
Sounds like you and I went to schools with similar band programs. :D


LOL, and then I went and became a band director... What my former students tell me they got away with is a heck of a lot worse than anything we ever did! And of course, the back of Bus One, the senior bus, was the coolest.

mds725
05-12-2014, 10:43 AM
These studies illustrate why it's been a HUGE mistake for public schools to have cut down, or eliminated, their music education programs over the past few decades.

For what it's worth, this was my post number 8,888.

ukulelekarcsi
05-13-2014, 02:30 AM
:agree: - I've said much the same thing for years.
Well, it's a theory used in Mark Katz's Capturing Sound: How Technology has Changed Music (2004) and earlier in Michael Channan's Repeated Takes: A Short History of Recording and its Effects on Music (1995). It's also cited repeatedly in David Byrne's How Music Works.

I tend to agree with the part of it that says that some performances became benchmarks, that listening to music changed from a social gathering to solitary self-satisfaction in a bedroom or with headphones (the horror!) and that it had a standardising effect on music: the turns, slurs, even pitches were less local or even individual. We can moan about technology's influence on music style (oh, the female vocalists that can impersonate a vocorder pitch shifter! and the vibrato you can drive through with a truck!) but on the other hand drummers have never been more steady than today, thanks to them practising to metronomes and click tracks.

I don't agree with the part that says that recording music made people less particants and more consumers of music. Basically because the portion of population playing music never was really that large. Yes, lots of households had pianos, but nowadays many households have a guitar and a recorder somewhere - it doesn't mean they were played regularly, or well. As for singing, radio and records opened up the repertoire for everyone. Listen to the radio for eight hours, and you have some 120 different songs!

I also don't agree with the argument that the quality went down. Yes, there is terrible music today, but there was terrible music then as well, even before the recording days. The oldies and classics are generally great music, but remember that they were filtered through time, because they were considered worth preserving and re-broadcasting over and over. There is also an element of taste and changing styles at work - sometimes it's just something to acquire. And it's personal as well. I get itchy whenever I hear something by The Doors, although I can't explain why I don't like it and most people consider their music classic and of high quality. Must be some youth trauma, I suppose.

You do have a point (confirmed by all the authors above) in that the music business has changed - basically it's very hard to make any money anymore from recorded music unless you are a very big name. And being a big name has little to do with musicality and alot with notority. But recording good music never was a guarantee for selling a lot of records, and living of modest record sales only was possible for a few decades between the 1950s and the 1990s.

Fascinating stuff! I do think that the influence of ukulele sales (third wave) is exaggerated. If you're musically inclined, you don't need to find a ukulele to help bring that out. The ukulele may find you. [eery theremin music, fades into the background]