Music and Memory

Music and Memory

Some of us can’t remember what we had for breakfast, or if we even ate breakfast. 

Yet there are singers who can remember an entire 90-minute musical’s worth of lyrics in different languages and pianists who can play an hour-long composition by heart.

How in the heck do they remember all of it?

Science shows that music has a special connection in the brain to memory. A meta-analysis of almost 30 studies suggests musicians have better memories than nonmusicians.  

Don’t sign up for those trombone lessons just yet. Just kidding you absolutely should learn how to play the trombone, just not specifically for a memory boost. 

It’s impossible for studies like this to take into account the individual cognitive capabilities of the participants in the study. 

Meaning that some people just have better memories than others, and maybe that has something to do with why they became musicians in the first place.

What we do know is that the practice of playing a musical instrument frequently changes the way your brain functions. 

“Musicians are masters at chunking,” says Helding, author of The Musician’s Mind: Teaching Learning, and Performance in the Age of Brain Science. “Chunking” refers to grouping things together in the mind based on their similarities. 

This technique, which musicians develop over time, can help them process information in a more meaningful way, improving their ability to recognize or recall it later.

The grouping or chunking technique can actually be applied to almost any part of your life where memory comes into play, and it appears that music may be one of the best ways to develop it. 

If you’re interested in the other benefits surrounding music or if you want to be more musical but can’t play an instrument, check out this article below!

Do you know a musician? Or someone who just loves music? Share this piece with them 🙂