DMF’s focus has always been on how music provides hope and enjoyment, reduces social isolation and increases self-confidence. However, music nourishes, restores, and heals. Playing music – however done – requires complex processing functions by multiple parts of the brain and has the potential to open up new neural pathways. Study after study confirms the benefits of music:

  • A simple song-singing program (15 sessions) was shown to increase not only vocal speaking range but also feelings of happiness – as well as decrease feelings of sadness, fear, confusion, tension and fatigue – in males with traumatic brain injury.[1]
  • Students consistently involved in orchestra or band during their middle and high school years performed better in math at grade 12. The results were even more pronounced when comparing students from low-income families. [2]
  • New research shows that even amateur musicians’ brains are highly developed in a way that makes the musicians alert, interested in learning, disposed to see the whole picture, calm, and playful. [3]

For more studies conducted on the link between recreational music making and wellness, we invite you to visit our partner and long-time supporter the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute.

[1] Baker, F; Wigram, T; and Gold, C; The effects of a song-singing programme on the affective speaking intonation of people with traumatic brain injury; Brain Inj. 2005 Jul; 19(7):519-28

[2] Catterall, J.; Chapleau, R; and Iwanaga, J. (2002), “Involvement in the Arts and Human Development: Extending an Analysis of General Associations and Introducing the Special Cases of Intensive Involvement in Music and Theatre Arts.” In R. Deasy (Ed.), Critical Links: Learning in the Arts and Student Achievement and Social Development, Washington, DC: AEP.

[3] Frederick Travis, Harold Harung, Yvonne Lagrosen. Moral development, executive functioning, peak experiences and brain patterns in professional and amateur classical musicians: Interpreted in light of a Unified Theory of Performance.  Consciousness and Cognition, 2011; DOI