Original article taken from Music Together® website

Rhythms and Neurons: How Music Shapes the Brain's Internal Rhythms

What happens when the drummer for the Grateful Dead teams up with an international tabla master and a couple of cutting-edge neuroscientists? Or when opera diva Renée Fleming joins forces with researchers and music educators? Through the Sound Health Initiative, Ph.D.s and performers from diverse fields have been digging into the question of how music affects the brain, and they are finding that rhythm and music have far-reaching effects that start in infancy.

Here are some findings presented at the recent Sound Health Conference, attended by members of the Music Together Worldwide research team.

Speech and singing both have rhythms that enable us to organize information. It’s easy to recognize the rhythms of beating hearts or ticking clocks, but we are less aware of the rhythms that underlie talking and social interactions. Because they have regular timing, the rhythms of speech and singing enable our brains to organize incoming content and predict when important information is on its way.