Learn Flute Podcast SHOW NOTES:
- Information on this podcast is supplemental to LearnFluteOnline.com
- How playing the flute can enhance your Brain Function
- How this enhancement can affect your life
- Different reasons music is good for your brain
Learn Flute Podcast 114
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It’s a great day to play some music and learn more about our favorite subject! Flute! Today, I’m excited to uncover 5 reasons playing flute increases your brain function. Sounds kind of scientific, doesn’t it? I like to find ways to help my brain get and stay smart, do you? Great! Let’s get to it!
Well welcome, welcome back here to another episode of the Learn Flute Podcast. It’s always a pleasure to invite and meet you here for an audio lesson that helps us with our mindset, motivation, and our education.. All on our favorite subject, flute!
Now the flute is of course one of my favorite instruments mainly because the sound we make comes from our souls and right out our breath and into our instruments and out into the room for everyone to hear. I feel like it’s a tool to improve our entire being.
That might kind of sound a little dramatic, but it’s really true to me!
I was reminded of this just yesterday as one of my accompanists and I were working on a project after not meeting together for a couple of months. At the beginning of the session we were both a little sleepy and not quite sure of the direction we wanted to take.
As we moved along through the creation process, I started to notice how awake I was starting to feel, whereas before we began I had contemplated taking a short nap.
As we continued, I perked up to this phenomenon that was happening right before my eyes and decided to purposefully take note on how we were both feeling.
After about 30 minutes into our process the room began to feel electric, and the energy we were sharing was undeniable. Mind you, she was two hundred miles away from me – our meeting was virtual, and the air waves were definitely coming alive right before our eyes.
Within a bit more time I noticed that after each of us would play the sections we were creating, our cheeks were pinking up and my heart rate was definitely up above the normal resting state.
By the time we finished, I could visibly see that my accompanist had a flood of happy endorphins. We didn’t want to stop creating music.
It was so much fun!
We felt very alive and awake.
Now, I’ve talked about it before here at Learn Flute Online, but music and our emotions can and do create physical responses.
It’s static and, like I said, alive.
It also creates growth within our brains that we can’t see but is definitely there.
So how do we know?
Well, just that short example I gave of my musical session with my accompanist the other day demonstrates that something was happening since both of us were kind of like wilted plants before we began, and then we both felt like a vibrant jungle of plants of all colors and sizes by the end.
Well, today I wanted to go through a few of the studies that have been done to prove that learning an instrument strengthens our minds and increases brain function. Because this is what I was noticing the other day.
So in our list of 5 reasons playing flute increases your brain function, I put the first one as learning to play and read music makes you think faster.
I know this one is true.
When we learn to read and play music, something happens inside our brains, in that we start to recognize common patterns and shapes that help us process faster.
We only have a fraction of a moment to decide what is supposed to happen and then it’s time to move to the next moment. It’s very quick and as we progress through the levels, we get better and better at this.
Experts say that reading skills translate into more success in life also, and that music and reading especially are related through the common neural and also cognitive mechanisms of our brains. Basically it’s the same area of our minds that we are using.
Apparently as our thinking processes more quickly, our ability to retain information also increases. Because, they are the same area of the brain.
Our minds are very adaptable at all ages, and continue to get better and better at functioning as we improve our musical skills. Hm, no arguments there right?
Number Two here:
Trained musicians also become very quick at multi-processing. This means that we learn to take in sounds, sights, and touch all at the same time. It takes training, but we do it within time for sure. This leads to some superior multisensory skills.
I’ve heard conflicting reports – do musicians actually multi-task? Or are we just really good at processing lightening fast so it’s basically like multi-tasking as we play our instruments?
Well, we definitely have an advantage when it comes to combining the skills of hearing, and touch, and, and well, a whole host of things. We repeat our skills so many times that they do become second nature and don’t have to be focused on anymore.
Much like breathing and walking at the same time… I have done it so many times that I don’t need to focus on one or the other to do them at the same time. In fact, I can even do other things, like talk, laugh, sing, think, I can yo-yo while I walk, and breathe.
And like most skills, I trained my body to do them by repeating this over and over until it became second nature to my body.
Music is a total sound, touch, and feel, feel physically and emotionally experience, and much of sight is being used as well. It’s very cool.
Number three today
is that as we learn music throughout our lives, it leads to brain plasticity (thats a fancy word, right? Plasticity) is so important in our later years. While of course, it is known that children who receive musical training in their younger years have faster brain responses when they are adults, they can think faster right. Even if they stopped playing for many decades or years it is shown that their thinking is faster and has more plasticity to it.
Now, no matter what stage of life the musical skills are being gained in, the more pliable and adaptable our minds do become… so basically we just keep getting smarter and smarter through music. It’s so cool!
The next thing I want to mention (I would say this is number four today) is what I already started with a few minutes ago when we learning about getting in musical workouts regularly increases blood flow in our brains.
There have been studies done on this specifically that show that these bursts of musical practice moments increase the blood flow in specifically the left hemisphere of the brain.
This makes sense to me because I don’t ever need coffee or caffeine ever.. I just need my daily dose of brain stimulation. In fact, I don’t know about you but I have to be careful at what time of the evening I turn off my musical adventures because I find that I am wide awake after a quick practice session or musical creative period if I spend some time composing or creating something for my students especially.
It wires me, music wires me and I feel very alert and very full of happy endorphins because of it.
So, it’s possible you can learn to skip the coffee and pick up your flute instead.. See what happens as you train your mind to become more and more alert. As you get quicker and quicker in music.
This increased blood flow we’re talking about here can significantly reduce stress and anxieties at the same time also.
Being able to control yourself is a cool skill. Perhaps you’ve heard me talk about the endorphins that are released as we listen to and play music ourselves. It’s a real thing, and it helps us manage our moods, have musical adventures to look forward to, and I’m so happy to have it in my life.
Oh we are just moving right through this list so easily today – we just have one more to talk about on our list of 5 reasons playing flute increases your brain function. I’m happy to talk about these things because it means that there’s more to playing music than just playing music, you know?
Our minds are something we carry with us all throughout life and anything we can do to strengthen it and keep it nimble and aware is kind of a big deal.
Many people struggle with things like brain fog, slow memory, or even signs of dementia. It’s nice to know that there’s something we can do to keep this at bay. Help manage it and exercise our minds.
Hah have you ever heard of “mom brain”? It’s a real thing.
I remember when I was a young mother and I spent most of every day taking close care of my adorable boys… I also remember that the moment my husband walked through the door as he returned home from work was a very welcome time for me because I could finally have someone to talk with.
Don’t get me wrong, the babies and the kids are great, but a meaningful conversation with full sentences and thoughts is really nice also. I relished my time in the music studio especially during those years because my mind needed it.
I’ve also been able to work closely with music students who have significant brain trauma injuries. What happens for a person’s function as we work through the skills we use as flute players is very powerful.
Now, I’m not talking about just cognitive function, I mean that what we use as we cross our left arm over our bodies, so picture this: you’re picking up your flute to play it and your left arm crosses over your body, and then we face our hands in different directions.
This motion just alone stimulates both the right and left sides of the brain. It’s a really big deal when someone learns to regain precision and action of their motor-skills after an accident or injury.
Is this something you’ve ever had experience with?
IF so, let me know because I would love to hear what you learned and how music had an effect on you or the person you know.
It takes time to re-train the mind and the neuron connections that used to be there, but they can and will be found and re-grown with repetitive motions that especially use the fine motor skills that we use as we play the flute especially.
We use both sides of our brain and it’s an unusual therapy that is worth its weight in gold. It works, I have seen it and done it myself.
It has been really fun to talk today about what flute playing does to increase our brain functions. I know there’s a lot more to it, we went through that list very quickly, but for the purposes of this episode today this is enough to get us started and even more motivated to stay the course and continue learning and growing our musical skills.
Here at learn flute online we keep connected as a community as we journey together. It is pretty darn fun!
I hope you have a chance very soon to come into the members area and take a lesson.
Remember that all of the content here is set in sequential learning order so what you do and learn each day here builds upon the skills you’ve already gained. It’s seriously the best way to learn and continue increasing your function and joy as a human being.
Academic achievement isn’t the only thing we’re striving for. Music feels so good. There’s a whole host of reasons why, and today we discovered a few more as we talked about our brains. I’ve heard it said that music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and flight to the imagination – and I would like to add that creativity feeds the soul, and the mind.
Let’s keep it up.
Thanks so much for being here today.
Let me know if you enjoyed this episode and this podcast in general. It’s really good for me to hear from you.
Also, you know I take requests, right? I’d like to give you budding musicians the content that you’re wanting. It’s all fun to me also! Recommend this to your friends so that we can all join in together.
I’m going to play you out now – thanks again – big hugs, until next time.
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10 thoughts on “5 Reasons Playing Flute Increases Your Brain Function”
Hi -thanks very much for your unpacking if flute playing benefits!!🥰 – I’m 70 – just taking it up – I love the positive effects you outlined – and so glad I learnt the piano as a child -only leaves mastering. My breathe!! 🐌🐌🐌🐌
Thanks for your comment, I’m glad that you enjoyed this information. It is true, having learned the piano as a child, reading flute music and general musicality will be much easier for you. Be patient with yourself as you begin to learn about mastering your breath and controlling your tone. You can do it! -Rebecca
Highly interesting and valid points are all these !! Actually I’ve been speaking dominantly my mother tongue to raise my little child to be bi-lingual in the States for last 4 years (it was quite hard sometimes as I felt my English was degrading ..). However, for recent months when I’ve been playing flute more with different songs, I noticed my English was just super flowing. And also faster or slower just like a music tempo depending on the conversational length!! I was wondering where all these change have come from, and I was alone thinking this was related to my music/flute playing. And your podcast confirmed it today!!!! :-))))
Thank you so much as always to you, my dear teacher Rebecca!!!! :-))))
Hi Sohee, yes yes our minds are amazing and adaptable both. The part of your brain that become more flexible and open with musical intelligence help your language fluency as well. You’re right! I’m so glad you’ve noticed this in your own life. Way to go. Glad you’re here. 🙂 Rebecca
Thanks Rebecca, for sharing with us another Podcast Gem. As students, we always gain much more than the rudiments of music and how to properly play the flute and for this, we are very grateful.
Hi Patrick, I’m so glad that you are here learning and enjoying all of this wonderful information with us. Thank you for your comment, I’m so thankful for you and all of our flute friends here as well. – Rebecca
Great & inspiring talk !! Thanks so much!
Thanks so much for listening Gwynne! This episode was a lot of fun. – Rebecca
Great Podcast! So true about the plasticity of the brain and the wonderful effects of stimulation and processing information. Music is a beautiful way to join cognitive, movement and flexibility skills. As a speech language pathologist- these are principles we use with brain injuries and pediatric development. I loved using music with patients and children 💕 Now I am learning flute and expanding my own skills 😊. Thanks Rebecca
Oh yes, Debra – speech language pathology is a really neat field. I find the brain so interesting too!