Learning to play a musical instrument early in life is a huge benefit. Not only has it been proven to help with math, language, and time management skills but the skill of listening carefully to music is also beneficial. Some researchers have also discovered that playing a musical instrument and hearing loss are also interrelated.
Learning to Play an Instrument Affects Your Need of Hearing Aids
Northwestern University’s Professor Nina Kraus (neurobiologist, physiologist, and otolaryngologist) conducted a study in regards to how a person detects and processes sounds. In doing so Kraus discovered that when it came to musicians who were suffering from hearing loss or wearing hearing aids were able to detect, process, and remember sounds better than nonmusicians.
According to Kraus, a person’s hearing system can “tune in” to different sounds better when you have a background in music. This may be due to the fact that musicians must focus on several aspects of sound at the same time – something that’s advantageous to combatting hearing loss and the need for hearing aids.
Studies show that when we’re in loud public areas our hearing systems must remember our past experiences with sound. This is easier for musicians to do because frequently they must pin-point sound in a noisy area (e.g. practice rooms, concert halls) – something that was validated by having classically trained musicians and non-musicians listen to the same voice recites some basic sentences in the midst of noisy background conversations. Essentially what this shows is that experience with music will change how your brain responds to and interacts with sound.
The Science of Listening
Musicians must perform tasks (e.g. listening to the sound of their own instrument, dynamics, and unique harmonies) that non-musicians aren’t accustomed to doing. This is why musicians can also outperform non-musicians when they need to recall sounds or words they’ve heard – an important skill for listening in a noisy environment. This is why Kraus really believes that things like hearing loss and the need to wear hearing aids could be greatly improved by adults and children who learn to play a musical instrument. Not only is this something that other experts also agree with but many of them also believe that deaf people can also hear and understand music. Furthermore, this is evidence that children who have hearing loss or wear hearing aids should be offered the opportunity to learn music because it’s possible for them to succeed in doing so.
Music Improves Your Health
Clearly, by playing an instrument you’ll be able to improve your social, language, and emotional growth among other things. The key here is to choose an instrument that has a pitch that the person can hear.
There was a study that was conducted by a prestigious team of researchers in Toronto in which 89 non-musicians and 74 musicians underwent hearing tests. These adults ranged in age from 18 – 91-years-old. The goal was to accurately determine how their aging was affected by aging. According to the results, a 70-year-old musician’s hearing was just as good as a 50-year-old non-musicians. This led them to believe that age-related changes in auditory processing are delayed in those who played a musical instrument – something that benefits musicians as they grow older. Unfortunately, this is something that clearly placed non-musicians at a disadvantage.
If you’re in Clearwater and Pinellas County and you find yourself suffering from hearing loss or in need of hearing aids you may want to consider learning how to play an instrument. You’ll also want to connect with the area’s top provider. The professionals at Countryside Hearing Aids Services are here to help you today.
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