Brain Health Matters

The Many Ways Music Benefits Your Brain AND Your Life

September 14, 2023 Kate Kunkel Season 3 Episode 2
Brain Health Matters
The Many Ways Music Benefits Your Brain AND Your Life
Show Notes

Welcome to Brain Health matters – I just KNOW you are going to love this interview this week.

Kathy Fester, a long-time music educator and advocate joined me to talk about the importance of music education and music engagement at ALL ages. Her enthusiasm and sheer joy made this one of my favorite interviews of all time.

Whether you’re a parent trying to decide if it’s worthwhile to spend money on music lessons, or a senior struggling a bit with loneliness or some cognitive decline, you will be sure to find this conversation enlightening, entertaining, and inspiring. 

 As Kathy says, “Music puts a smile in the heart.” 

Kathy Fester began teaching music when she was just in grade 7 and has been teaching music in the public school system for the past 32 years 

Her passion for music advocacy has put her in leadership roles in many associations and  inspired her to complete her Masters Degree from Simon Fraser University to expand on the knowledge of all the Arts as they affect the brain. 

The “Power of Music” in our lives is a passion that lives in the heart and mind.  Kathy continues to advocate daily to bring music into the curriculum of our schools to the level of being a ‘core subject’ equal to reading and writing in our school system rather than a “frill”.   

Music isn’t just something that we listen to – it is the “heart of soul” of humanity.

Some Key Points:

5:23 How music helps students learn better problem solving and working as a team, learning to accept that you learn through making mistakes.

 7:51 Music changes the brain structurally and what that means for success later in life

 14:00 Listening to Music: essential for emotional and mental health, but creating music is so much more

16:00 For parents and educators: recommendation of a fantastic book to understand the many reasons music education is essential for brain and mental health and success. Music education can even help you learn to read better. 

 21:00 Why you don’t have to learn as a child to get the benefits of learning a musical instrument

 23:00 How music benefits stroke patients and those who are suffering with dementia

28:27 Music puts a smile in the heart

30:25 Why are humans so wired for sound?

 34:52 Why it’s important for everyone to follow their heart and play music – any music, any way.

Recommended book: The Music Advantage.

Kathy’s websites: Gratitude and Appreciation Summit 


 To learn even more about the power of music for a healthier brain, check out Kate’s book, The Musical Brain.

Start your Brain Health Journey with Five Easy Things you can do Right Now to Improve Your Brain

To learn even more about the power of a whole foods, plant-based diet for a healthier brain, check out Kate’s books, "Don't Let the Memories Fade", "The Vegan Brain" and "The Musical Brain"

Check out the Brain Health Matters BLOG for many more ways to improve your brain and your life!