Between Music & Medicine: Robert Gupta TED Talk

Join Robert Gupta as he discusses the power of music to heal various mental conditions including Alzheimer’s and PTSD. When considering his career choices, he wasn’t sure if he should become an M.D. or a musician. Ultimately it was his work the mentally ill that helped him realize that music is medicine.

Robert Gupta played music with Nathaniel Ayers on Skid Row. You may remember the story as told through the movie The Soloist starring Jamie Foxx. What came out of this experience was the founding of an organization called Street Symphony that helps other homeless people on Skid Row to find healing and sanity through playing and listening to music.

Gottfried Schlaug: Music and the Brain Podcast

Making Music Changes Brains is one of several podcasts put out by the Library of Congress in a series titled “Music and the Brain”. The Library’s Music and the Brain events offer lectures, conversations and symposia about the explosion of new research at the intersection of cognitive neuroscience and music. Project chair Kay Redfield Jamison convenes scientists and scholars, composers, performers, theorists, physicians, psychologists, and other experts at the Library for a compelling 2-year series, with generous support from the Dana Foundation.

In this episode, Dr. Gottfried Schlaug, Director of the Music, Neuroimaging and Stroke Recovery Laboratories, Beth Deaconess Israel Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, talks with host Steve Mencher about the notable differences between the brain of a musician and a non-musician.

You can listen and download the podcast at the Library of Congress page. . Or, you can get it on iTunes: Music and the Brain

Music is Shown to Benefit and Exercise the Brain

You may have heard your friends and family stress the importance of having a song in your heart. It turns out, music benefits your brain as well. Many people listen to music without even thinking about how their brain reacts. But doctors say it exercises it in ways that nothing else can.

Music therapy is being used increasingly for patients with dementia or traumatic brain injury. It’s already used for a variety of roles in people’s lives, and because of what parts of the brain it exercises, musical training is shown to increase motor and reasoning skills. Other studies have shown that a person’s choice in music is a great determination of that person’s personality. But a doctor explained how listening or performing music is a unique mental exercise.

“We find that when someone is asked to sing a song, for example, after a brain injury, how many different parts of the brain get utilized,” said CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. “First, you’ve got to remember the words to that song, and then you’ve got to carry those words across from one side of the brain to the other, to allow someone to actually begin to say those words. Then you’ve got to carry a tune. That requires messages going across the middle of the brain as well, and then sometimes you can stand up and do some moves with the music and that can reestablish rhythm.”

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Music to Galvanize Veterans

The Smashing Pumpkins released a music video for “Drum + Fife,” which serves as an allegory for veterans suffering from PTSD. It’s an issue that Billy Corgan is clearly passionate about and he wants to make a difference.


As a bonus, here’s JP Cormier HOMETOWN BATTLEFIELD Official Video!! A montage video of people who are affected by PTSD. Have compassion and gratitude for veterans today and everyday. Win or lose, “right or wrong” their sacrifices are what make your freedom possible.

Music and the Brain – Free Podcasts on iTunes

If you’re a music freak like me, you have found that rhythm and beats are more than just a form of entertainment.

Listening and dancing to music can be healing to the core. A series of podcasts by the Library of Congress explores the power of music and how it interacts with the brain.

Music and the Brain

Use sound and brainwave technology to reach guru-like meditative states, try Holosynch from Centerpointe Research.