File this one under music advocacy. TED-Ed produced a snazzy video that presents a summary of neuroscientists’ studies on the brains of musicians. The results? Simply listening to music uses a significant portion of the brain, but playing music also involves fine motor skills, meaning this activity uses even more of the brain. Also, musicians have better “executive function” meaning they plan and strategize better, and pay greater attention to detail. Also, musicians store memories more efficiently. The video makes the claim that the brain training acquired playing musical instruments can be applied to other activities. While I hope this is true, this seems the least substantiated claim. Certainly, video games meant to train brains really only train your brains to do that video game. But playing an instrument may be better.
So why are we cutting music programs from schools? (Also, for the neuroscientists, what about singers?)