2007-05-03 / Health & Wellness

Music helps improve your thinking

Music can have a powerful emotional impact on the psyche, but music can also help a person think.

According to experts, adults and teens alike can actually improve certain thinking skills by listening to classical music or learning to play an instrument.

"The experts have weighed in and classical music has been proven to be a boon to our minds, especially those of young babies and teens going through their formative years," said Ted Libbey, music critic and author of "The NPR Listener's Encyclopedia Of Classical Music."

It's not that classical music can make one smarter, but it can improve spatial reasoning and certain types of thinking, such as the skills it takes to put together a jigsaw puzzle.

And classical music has been proven to be more effective than other types of music at creating these new pathways in the brain, believed to be due to the complexity of the musical structure.

Here are some tips to get more classical music in a family's life:

+Listen to classical music at home, both for baby at moderate volume levels and at regular volume for the entire family.

+Download classical music for a teen's iPod or other portable music player. If online sales are any indication, classical music shows no sign of dying out.

+Pop on some classical tunes on those long family drives, allowing the children to choose their favorite selections.

+Start music lessons early for children. Preschoolers love making music and, with some help, can begin to learn the basics of some simple instruments. Older children should be encouraged to select their favorite instrument to learn.

+Turn up a classical composition in the key of C. The tuning fork that doctors use for a neurological exam is tuned to C because neurologists discovered that human bones respond most readily to vibrations of C. Human bodies are, in a sense, tuned to the key of C, which is one of the reasons that C major has such a pleasing effect on the senses and seems to sound particularly full, rich and satisfying.

This story is provided by State Point Media.

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