Maintaining our mental health with music
As a qualified musician, as well as writing this blog about mental health, I was very interested to read recently about a Scottish study that suggests playing a musical instrument can have lifelong mental health benefits — including staving off dementia.
Researchers at Heriot-Watt University compared the mental agility of musicians and non-musicians aged between 60 and 88 in memory and spatial reasoning tests. Those who played an instrument completed tasks up to 25% more quickly.
Professor Alan Gow, who led the study, published in scientific journal Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition, said it “highlighted that learning and playing a musical instrument may be associated with cognitive differences in older age, and supports musical activity as a potentially cognitively protective lifestyle factor”.