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Music and your brain – the science of change

The Crawford Family Forum

We know that music has the power to move us and shape the way we experience our lives, but did you know that learning and playing music can help your attention span and develop better early language skills and reading potential in your kids? Research shows that regular music-making strengthens brain functions relating to things like reading and memory, and learning a musical instrument in elementary school has been shown to boost the neural processing of speech. These studies have found that music gives brain benefits throughout our entire lives. The more you play, the more you prosper.

So what is it exactly that creates that effect? To explore this question we’ll dive deep inside the brain and examine the neurobiology at play as we interact with music across our lifespan.

Parents and the kids joined KPCC’s Arts Education Reporter Mary Plummer for conversation that explored music’s potential to help us learn and improve our lives.  And we had a special performance by members of the Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra

Mary Plummer: reporter on SCPR's education team, covering arts education

Suzanne Gindin, D.M.: Founder and Artistic Director, Boyle Heights Community Youth Orchestra

Nina Kraus, Ph.D.: Hugh Knowles Professor in Communication Sciences, Neurobiology and Physiology, and Otolaryngology at Northwestern University

Kristen Madsen: Senior Vice President, The GRAMMY Foundation & MusiCares