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Updated July 22, 2022
Shakespeare called music the “food of love,” but it’s also food for your brain. One of the few things that researchers agree on is that there’s no greater brain exercise than learning something new — and learning to play an instrument is especially worthwhile. Typically, playing an instrument requires each hand to do something different, which engages every major part of the central nervous system, along with giving the brain abundant sensory input to process.
And don’t let age be an obstacle. Research shows that although older adults may learn more slowly than younger people, they are just as able to learn new musical instruments and skills. Another study, of people who started to play piano between the ages of 60 and 85, suggests that music practice has the potential to transfer to nonmusical spheres, too. The study found that after six months, the group who received piano lessons demonstrated more gains in memory, verbal fluency and planning ability than those who had not received lessons.
If the thought of learning to play an instrument keeps flitting across your mind, why not see for yourself what the (musical) score is? This activity aims to help you identify an instrument that matches your interests and lifestyle.
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