This is an exerpt of a great article written by Diane Cole and published by the National Geographic:
Your Aging Brain Will Be in Better Shape If You've Taken Music Lessons
..."You Can Start Now
It's not too late to gain benefits even if you didn't take up an instrument until later in life. Jennifer Bugos, an assistant professor of music education at the University of South Florida, Tampa, studied the impact of individual piano instruction on adults between the ages of 60 and 85. After six months, those who had received piano lessons showed more robust gains in memory, verbal fluency, the speed at which they processed information, planning ability, and other cognitive functions, compared with those who had not received lessons.
More research on the subject is forthcoming from Bugos and from other researchers in what appears to be a burgeoning field. Hervé Platel, a professor of neuropsychology at the Université de Caen Basse-Normandie, France, is embarking on a neuroimaging study of healthy, aging nonmusicians just beginning to study a musical instrument.
And neuroscientist Julene Johnson, a professor at the Institute for Health and Aging at the University of California, San Francisco, is now investigating the possible cognitive, motor, and physical benefits garnered by older adults who begin singing in a choir after the age of 60. She'll also be looking the psychosocial and quality-of-life aspects.
"People often shy away from learning to play a musical instrument at a later age, but it's definitely possible to learn and play well into late adulthood," Bugos says.
Moreover, as a cognitive intervention to help aging adults preserve, and even build, skills, musical training holds real promise. "Musical training seems to have a beneficial impact at whatever age you start. It contains all the components of a cognitive training program that sometimes are overlooked, and just as we work out our bodies, we should work out our minds."
Sure, your friends might laugh when you sit down at the piano, but your brain may well have the last laugh."
You can read the whole article CLICKING HERE