Playing an instrument, singing may help preserve brain health

Adults who play an instrument are more likely to have a stronger working memory and executive function. Singing in a choir was also associated with better executive function. Photo: Pexels

(Robbie Berman/ Medical News Today) — Playing music or choral singing throughout one’s adult life is associated with better cognitive health as we age, says a new study from the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom.

The study is an analysis of data from the larger PROTECT study, looking at people aged 40 or older. It is a collaboration with King’s College London, and has been underway for a decade.

Going through data from a subset of the PROTECT study, the authors of the new study tracked the cognitive effects of playing an instrument, or choral singing. Individuals’ lifelong exposure to music and their musical experience were compared to their cognitive function.

The study is published in the International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry. (…)