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This crossed my desk today and describes new research from the UK.

The jist is the following:
"The message is around how people can proactively reduce their risk of cognitive decline or dementia, and really thinking about engaging with music as a way of doing that. This study does suggest that it could be part of a much wider lifestyle approach to improving brain health as you age."

This is one of a handful of subjects I try to follow, and so this comes as no surprise to me.

I skimmed the underlying reseach paper (at The International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry) and it doesn't appear that computer-assisted music creation tools like BiaB were considered "musical instruments" or included in the study.

BBC article on brain health

IJGP Paper

Last edited by Bass Thumper; 01/31/24 01:45 PM.

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I think the most interesting thing is people with full blown Alzheimer's being able to play their instruments. Glen Campbell was a good example. He didn't know where he was doing a show, but as long as his daughter told him what song was next he plugged right along, played and sang (with help of teleprompter) and played at a high level. Tony Bennet rehearsing for his last shows. Came out of his bedroom to an introduction, his pianist playing his music. Did and intro on the piano and Tony launched into the songs one after another never missing a beat or lyric. His wife said he would just sit and stare when not singing. Quite amazing. Check it out on YouTube. I believe you can find the clip I am referring to Anderson Cooper was doing a story and was there in the room when he started his rehearsal. Just amazing stuff.


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As a psychologist in the late 60’s I often worked closely with music therapists. This topic was a common discussion at the time albeit some years before credible research was done.

Bud

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Originally Posted by etcjoe
I think the most interesting thing is people with full blown Alzheimer's being able to play their instruments. . . Just amazing stuff.
Yes, it is amazing. I think I saw the Tony Benett video. Clearly, music cannot prevent brain decline but the UK and other research seems to suggest that it can delay the decline. I understand that the cerebellum plays a big role in muscle memory which might explain Tony's skills despite his other limitations.

Donald Hebb (Hebb's Rule) back in the 1940s studied this.


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For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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Originally Posted by Janice & Bud
As a psychologist in the late 60’s I often worked closely with music therapists. This topic was a common discussion at the time albeit some years before credible research was done.
Well done Bud, maybe you can teach us a few things on this subject? As a freshman in college we were required to take 1 or 2 courses in psychology and I still remember the young female prof that taught the course. I was fascinated (and imprinted?) with the subject . . . and yes, I may have been fascinated by her too smile


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For me there’s no better place in the band than to have one leg in the harmony world and the other in the percussive. Thank you Paul Tutmarc and Leo Fender.
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Originally Posted by Bass Thumper
Originally Posted by etcjoe
I think the most interesting thing is people with full blown Alzheimer's being able to play their instruments. . . Just amazing stuff.
Yes, it is amazing. I think I saw the Tony Benett video. Clearly, music cannot prevent brain decline but the UK and other research seems to suggest that it can delay the decline. I understand that the cerebellum plays a big role in muscle memory which might explain Tony's skills despite his other limitations.

Donald Hebb (Hebb's Rule) back in the 1940s studied this.
Yes I believe some studies have concluded the part of the brain for music, muscle memory etc. is among the last to be affected by these type diseases. Hence the abilities of musicians to continue to play and even perform at a pretty high level.


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I played at a memory unit nursing home for a year every monday until covid hit and they would not allow us back in. I was always amazed these folks would sing right along with the songs we played and even mostly knew the words. But by next monday they would not remember who we were.
So I was talking to a High School Band teacher about this and he told me there had been studies about this. It seems one of the last things the human brain remembers might be music that has been embedded in our minds since childhood. Think "You Are My Sunshine" as an example.


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I can't remember the article - it was a while back - but my takeaway was that if I suffering a stroke and found myself unable to communicate because of aphasia, I should try singing instead speaking because it used a different neural pathway.

Hopefully I'll never need to test that out... sick


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Vocal control, you say. Never heard of it. Is that some kind of ProTools thing?
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