Do you understand the amazing relationship between the brain and music to it’s fullest and how it can affect your physical wellbeing?
@oliversacksfdn used to tell the story of how he was midst bushwalk and sustained a serious injury which rendered him unable to move. He began to sing a folk song, the rhythm of which *miraculously* allowed his legs to move step by step until he could reach help. He described it as being “musicked down the mountain”. He was a pioneer of the investigation into neuroscience and music, and what we know now to be true is exactly what he experienced.
The relationship between auditory input (what we hear) and the motor cortex (the part of the brain in control of our movements) is one of the most dominant neural pathways in the brain!
The rhythm and repetition of the folk song he sang out loud literally allowed his legs to move step by step, despite his injury.
It still feels miraculous, but it’s in fact neuroscience! And we experience the same phenomenon in our own lives all the time.
But his story went on. As he was recovering and relearning how to walk he had trouble remembering the flow of footsteps, how to make it happen, he couldn’t remember how to walk.
So he started thinking about a classical piece he’d listened to over and over in the past and with this the memory of how to walk resurfaced and he was able to walk.
This, again, can now be explained by science.
To merely think about music in our mind is just as powerful as hearing it out loud. It activates the same parts of the brain as if we were actually hearing it or playing it!
And the bit about the recall of his long term memory? Well, I always describe emotion, melody and long term memory as being three best friends all joined at the hip. You rarely experience one without the other.
So to think about a melody, and for that to trigger memory recall, is exactly how our brain works.
Oliver Sacks was a bloody genius. He noticed patterns, observed truths, explored miracles, and inspired others to explore the same topics.
And now? We have a world of research, science, knowledge and truth that demonstrates the relationship between the brain and music in a way that has the potential to impact every single one of us and our physical wellbeing.
It’s an exciting time to be a neurologic music therapist – that’s for sure! 🥰🥰🥰
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