Music and Memory

The connection between music and memory is really strong and develops in many different ways!

For example:

  • we can use music to learn a new language memorising the lyrics of a song in a different language;
  • we can play music to recall memories from the past;
  • we can sing an old song to stimulate an injured brain… the possibilities are many!

When children are involved in music activities, they need to memorise the rules of the game, the melody, the lyrics and the movement, developing in that moment working memory.

What about when a child is learning how to play an instrument? Their memory is always involved!

 Let’s make an example:

– a child to be able to read the note DO on the music stave must recall the information stored in their memory regarding the other notes and correlate them with a first mental representation, both visual and auditory (semantic memory);

– coordinate the fingers using a whole set of visuospatial, auditory and motor programming strategies that involve short and long-term memory (and not only);

– implement a set of cognitive functions including working memory, to control and balance gesture-sound coordination.

Easy, right? 🙂

A musician’s brain is different

Studies suggest that musicians have better:

  • memory
  • understanding of non-verbal communication
  • coordination and dexterity
  • learning abilities
  • attention to detail
  • understanding of cognitive and emotional aspects of information
  • planning and strategising skills

Every week we will analyse one of these aspects that are really important to us as music educators and therapists for the development of our students’ musical skills.

First one: memory!

A new paper from Music and Cognition

Our new paper is out today, investigating the impact of a musical intervention on preschool children’s executive function!

Frontiers in Psychology is the largest journal in its field, publishing rigorously peer-reviewed research across the psychological sciences, from clinical research to cognitive science, from perception to consciousness, from imaging studies to human factors, and from animal cognition to social psychology.

Thanks to Creative Futures and my colleagues Alice Bowmer and Katie Mason for this first step together!

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02389/full

Music and Executive Function

Our paper regarding the impact of music on the development of the executive functions in children 3-4 yo is getting ready! This is the next step after the research we run last year with Creative Futures and the University College London. Describing the activities and highlighting the process that brought us to significant changes is such a long process… but we love it! #musiceducationnerd 😂
We will then publish the activities and the musical examples of our research! Stay in touch!