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Music and the brain

By Bob Bailly

Over the holidays, I was looking for a present for my wife and found myself checking out a pre-Christmas sale at a local department store. During my time at the mall I was bombarded with generic Christmas music everywhere I went. Despite my urge to gag at the arrangements, when I was absorbed in the purer business of shopping, I actually caught myself singing along to several of the tunes.

At a cerebral level, listening to the musical pap made me feel like just another cranky holiday shopper, but deep down it was making me happy. Recognizing that I was being manipulated by these businesses in a subtle way got me once again thinking about the impact music has, or can have, on our behaviour. I’ve also been intrigued by my 21-month-old grandson’s fascination with music and rhythm. These things led me to revisit some research I did a couple of years ago on the affects that music can have on education.

Bottom line, music does help wire the brain, and the potential use in our lives is beyond measure.

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