There are lots of things you can do to make you smarter but music is the only thing that will make your corpus callosum thicker. The corpus callosum is the wiring system between the two halves of your brain. So when you have a guitar lesson you are literally rewiring your brain and upgrading it. Only music does this – not literacy, not maths, not even SRE.
And music doesn’t just help your brain talk to itself. It’s also great for strengthening the areas that handle balance, movement and motor control. It’s one of the few activities that gives the entire brain a workout; the parts that handles higher thinking (frontal cortex), memories (hippocampus), emotions (amygdala) even the parts that we share with animals (cerebellum and brain stem). And if that wasn’t enough, music makes you feel good by releasing a neurotransmitter called dopamine. Spelling tests don’t do that.
Recent studies have shown that music can help people with parkinson’s disease walk, autistic children socialise, premature babies gain weight and even reduce pain during spinal surgery.
Music doesn’t just change your brain when you’re young though.When older people lose the ability to speak after a stroke, scientists have found using music not only aids recovery but can produce visible changes in brain structure after only six months of treatment and it’s far more effective than getting them to listen to audio books.
Take that Charles Dickens!