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Musicians' Brains Really Do Work Differently — In A Good Way

"Did you know that every time musicians pick up their instruments, there are fireworks going off all over their brain?"

That's the launching point for a fantastic little video made by educator Anita Collins and animator Sharon Colman Graham for TED-Ed. What they explain is that while listening to music is beneficial, playing music is "the brain's equivalent of a full-body workout."

What's more: Neuroscientists have found that some of these aspects of mental work are different from any other activity studied, including playing sports or engaging in various creative pursuits.

For teachers, TED-Ed has made a full, customizable lesson plan available on this fascinating topic and exciting research. Happy playing!

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Anastasia Tsioulcas is a reporter on NPR's Arts desk. She is intensely interested in the arts at the intersection of culture, politics, economics and identity, and primarily reports on music. Recently, she has extensively covered gender issues and #MeToo in the music industry, including backstage tumult and alleged secret deals in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations against megastar singer Plácido Domingo; gender inequity issues at the Grammy Awards and the myriad accusations of sexual misconduct against singer R. Kelly.