Keep Strumming Away: Music Helps You Live Longer

The next time your roommate tells you to put the guitar down, don’t stop jamming out (…maybe stop if it’s late at night). Studies show that playing an instrument helps you live longer, increasing both memory functions and hearing.

In an auditory neuroscience laboratory at Northwestern University, Dr. Nina Kraus studies the interactions between music and the brain. Recently, Kraus and the laboratory tested eighty-seven people with varying levels of experience playing music by sending electrode signals to their brains and recording how quickly the subjects reacted. The study showed that the more experience with music a subject had, the quicker they responded to the signals.

Ever hear “Toxic” by Britney Spears and immediately think back to your preteen years? You’re not alone. Music can function as a form of therapy for patients with neurological disorders, like Alzheimer’s Disease. So, if you’re the kind of person who can remember all the words to all of your favorite band’s songs that memory may help you in the long run.

Scientific data aside, it’s hard to believe that musicians in their seventies like Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney can still perform with relative ease, despite their years of drug use, international tours, and general craziness. Could it be their musicianship that’s keeping the stars of the sixties and seventies alive? If that means that Paul McCartney‘s show at the Wells Fargo Center in June won’t be his last tour through Philly, then we sure hope so!

Featured Image by dsasso via Flickr

 

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