Posts Tagged ‘brain’

Ever thought about playing a musical instrument?


The Chinese philosopher Confucius said long ago that “Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” It is no surprise that he was right. Music creates an indescribable internal happiness and pleasure. There are many benefits with playing a musical instrument, including capacity for memory, improved perseverance, enhanced coordination, better mathematical skills, relief of stress and promotion of happiness.


Research has shown that playing a musical instrument can enhance the capacity of your memory by stimulating the brain. This strongly refers to the use of words as opposed to images. The parts of the brain that is linked to learning an instrument is also used to control motor skills, hearing and storing audio information. These parts of the brain become larger  and more active when learning an instrument.


Learning an instrument also takes time, effort, patience and perseverance. It is almost impossible to perfect an instrument straight up. By repetition and patience, people tend to teach themselves how to persevere in order to play music. Playing an instrument also requires a lot of hand-eye coordination. You are forced to convert notes on a page to a particular pattern on an instrument, incorporating rhythm and breathing.


Many people may be unaware of the mathematical benefits of playing an instrument. It can enhance your mathematical ability by counting notes and rhythms. Pattern recognition and mental representation are likely to significantly improve as a result of learning an instrument.


Music is an art and a way to express emotion. It has been proven that music relieves stress and is often used as a form of therapy. It is useful for treating children and teenagers with disorders such as autism and depression. Learning an instrument gives you a sense of pride and achievement. This promotes happiness and joy, which links in with the relief of stress.


It is evident that learning an instrument has many benefits for a range of areas. Memory, perseverance, coordination, mathematics, relief of stress and an increase of happiness is just the beginning. Music can be beneficial to anyone and is a fantastic outlet.


Teen alcohol abuse


The misuse of alcohol by teenagers is on the rise. There are many health risks which occur as a result of alcohol such as impaired brain development, injury or death. The abuse of alcohol has also been slowly increasing the rates of drink-driving, unsafe sex and use of drugs. Although underage alcohol consumption can be considered socially acceptable for some, many are not aware of the dangerous side-effects and serious consequences.

Many are unaware that people who consume alcohol under the age of 25 are at a high risk of impaired brain development. Teenagers are particularly at risk as their brains are still developing. During the teenage years the frontal lobe and hippocampus go through dramatic changes. These areas of the brain are linked to motivation, impulse control and addiction. Excessive alcohol consumption also interferes with vitamin B absorption, which prevents the brain from working properly. If the excessive drinking is long-term it may lead to a range of disorders. This can include symptoms such as memory-loss and balance problems. So why is underage drinking acceptable? It shouldn’t be.

It is widely recognized that alcohol impairs judgement. This is very common with the topic of unsafe sex. The risks associated with alcohol and sexual practices include intercourse without a condom, exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI’s), possible pregnancy or rape. If this was happening to your child, friend, relative or anyone in relation to you, would you be worried?

It is more likely that teenagers are going to take risks when drinking. This leads to many deaths, particularly on the roads with drink-driving and drink walkers. Other significant factors which can lead to death or serious injury include drowning, drug overdose suicide or fighting. So what leads teenagers to drink when there are serious consequences? It is mainly caused by peer pressure and the influence of adults, and yes, this does mean parents! Children learn by imitation, and the most influential role in a child’s life is their parents. If parents do not demonstrate sensible drinking behaviours it is more likely that when their child is introduced to alcohol they are going to drink excessively.

Misuse of alcohol is often linked to the use of drugs. Not to mention that many drugs are illegal, but the consumption of alcohol and drugs together can suppress the central nervous system. This causes breathing and heart rate to decrease to a dangerous level, resulting in an overdose. It is also linked to risk taking, putting the consumer and others in potential danger.

The rise in teen alcohol consumption is a topic that will never be at rest, but there are things we can do to help prevent the consequences caused by the abuse of alcohol. It starts at an early age; parents should monitor their drinking and become a positive role model for their children. Information should also be provided by schools to increase the knowledge on the effects of alcohol for teenagers in today’s society. It’s not too late to make it safer for our teens.