Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: Avoiding dementia with music

Here’s your mental health safety tip for today: learning to play a musical instrument can stave off dementia.

Studies on 157 pairs of twins—people that share 100% of their genetic makeup—show that cultivating your musical talent can decrease your chances of dementia by a third. That’s even after accounting for things like sex, education, physical activity, and everything else.  Of those twins, the ones who played a musical instrument were 36% less likely to develop some kind of cognitive impairment in old age. We’re not talking about going pro with music; playing the guitar, piano, or whatever as a leisure activity is enough. And these studies say that it doesn’t matter when you take up an instrument, just as long as you’re playing in older adulthood. 

Once again, if you want to keep your brain, learn to play music.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38524 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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