Music News YOU Can Use: Maintaining Intellectual Wellness

PET scan of a normal human brain

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The Medical Wellness Center at the University of Miami defines Intellectual Wellness as having a curiosity and strong desire to learn. It is a lifelong process of creating and reflecting upon experience, staying stimulated with new ideas, and sharing. It is discovering challenges, overcoming barriers, and integrating opportunities to grow, make plans, develop strategies, and solve problems in a community dedicated to leadership in service to others. It is the ability to engage in clear thinking and recall, and to think independently, creatively, and critically.

Music stimulates many areas of our brains and is a fantastic way to maintain intellectual wellness.

♫    Tune in – Dr. Louise Montello wrote about Essential Musical Intelligence, your natural ability to use music and sound as self-reflecting, transformational tools to facilitate total health and well-being. Tap into this intelligence by sitting at an instrument, any one you choose–or even use your voice, and start with one note. Quiet your mind and focus on this one note. Let the note tell you which note comes next. Follow the music until you feel a sense of completion. This musical meditation will stimulate the parts of your brain that work on creativity, listening, attention, and communication.

♫    Tune up – Learn a new instrument or practice one that you are taking lessons on. Practicing music helps to focus your attention, works on problem solving, and strengthens your memory.

♫    Tune out – All work and no play makes your brain hurt! Intellectual wellness is more than just studying and learning. Keep your brain active and healthy by playing, too. Play a musical game with your child–and your inner child! Trade notes on an instrument. Spend some time joining in with what your child is doing and then ask your child to join in with what you are doing. Make it fun!