Cover Image: Every Brain Needs Music

Every Brain Needs Music

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Member Reviews

Describing the science of music in the brain, each chapter is divided into labelled segments for easier digestion of information.  I enjoyed the use of song lyric puns and the reference to the flawed study that lead to the false claims of the Mozart Effect.  I appreciate the inclusion of the survey results in the appendices.  This is a fascinating and informative look at why the majority of humans love music, including a description of people who don't like music and what could be going on in their brains too.

My favourite quotes:
"Music you like makes you want to hear music you like."
"Music can be 'used' as a coping mechanism for stress and anxiety, much the way drugs of abuse can be used to self-medicate as a coping mechanism".

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for allowing me to read the ARC.
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Every Brain Needs Music is a book that tells about the importance of music to how we, as humans, live and how music interacts with our biology. As a musician, music's impact on every human being has always been amazing to me. This book goes into detail through written explanations accompanied with diagrams to explain how music interacts with a every part of the brain and creates stimulation.  
After establishing how music interacts with the brain, this book then goes into detail about how different types of music and traditions of it use the brain differently based on different constraints.
My favorite part of this book touched on the idea of practicing music. and the benefits like concentration and collaboration that can come from long-term music learning. I have known for a long time about the motor, sensory and cognitive benefits of learning music, but it is so interesting to learn how these changes happen in great, easy-to-follow detail. 
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in music or how the human brain works. This book is also great for anyone looking to learn about how things like music can impact learners.
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Every Brain Needs Music was a really fun and interesting read! As a musician, I loved learning about the ways music affects the brain and vice versa. It really gave me a new understanding and appreciation for just how challenging yet useful learning and practicing music can be because of how many areas of the brain have to work together to get it done. I think this would be a fantastic book for both performers and teachers to read!

(I read this on my Kindle and the formatting of some of the diagrams showed up wonky hopefully there’s a way to fix this)
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I enjoy learning how the brain works, and I love music (both listening and playing). So when I saw the title I knew I had to read it, and I wasn’t disappointed at all. It was easy to read and comprehend. The book explains what happens in the brain when we listen and practice music, it discusses why we like music and certain genres. I especially liked reading about what it takes to learn to play an instrument, and it even made me want to practice more.

It’s a great easy read that goes in just the right amount of detail. If you’re curious about the topic, I absolutely recommend you read the book.
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Every Brain Needs Music is a true statement. People have known music provides health benefits to all people. The facts are simple yet scientists and professional musicians elaborate these facts better than anyone else. So, how does the brain respond, change, grow or improve with music? Let Sherman and Plies give you the most up-to-date scientific evidence.

By using professional, world-renowned musicians and their test results, you can learn how different types of music will actually change the structure and chemistry of the human brain. A good thing for those past their adolescent dreams of becoming rock stars, adults can improve and repair their brains just by listening. Or better yet, by practicing and performing. The information is technical. And it is for the brain expert rather than the musical genius. If you remember the details of this book, I admire your intellectual abilities. This text is more of Beethoven or Mozart rather than Chuck Berry.
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Every Brain Needs Music is one of those rare books that is accessible to the average reader and appropriate for study at the university level. A wealth of scientific research is cited and discussed within its pages, which could have led to a dry academic read. Instead, the sheer joy and passion authors Larry S. Sherman and Dennis Plies convey in their writing makes the book very engaging to readers of all levels. Illustrations by Susi B. Davis are beneficial in clarifying the neuroscientific processes involved when we engage with music on various levels. I appreciated the accessibility of the scientific content to non-scientists.  What I did not expect to find is motivational content sprinkled throughout the discussions of the processes involved with practicing, performing, and composing music. Mr. Plies’s love of teaching shows through in these instances, and discovering them was a pleasant surprise. 

There is truly something for everyone in this book. Neuroscientists and researchers will appreciate all of the studies and data contained within, while musicians and music listeners will value learning how so many processes come together to enable them to do what they enjoy. 

The authors are quick to stress that there is still much to be learned about what really happens when the brain processes music. This intricately choreographed dance between the brain and the body still has many steps left to decode. Every Brain Needs Music is an engaging book that is well worth the read, and the joy that the authors have for the topic makes this non-scientist want to do a deeper dive into the studies and surveys they present. 

This review was from a copy made available to me by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Every Brain Needs Music, by Larry S Sherman and Dennis Plies and illustrated by Susi B Davis, is one of the most enjoyable books I've read that applies neuroscience to an everyday activity, in this case the playing of, learning of, and listening to music. 

I think there is a twofold reason for this book being so fun while also being so informative (not counting the joy that comes through in how the authors express themselves). One is that music is almost universally loved. I say almost because there is bound to be someone who doesn't like any music, doesn't tap a toe or bob a head at any tune whatsoever. I haven't met that person, so for everyone I know this book is about something they enjoy to some extent. The second is that with music, especially the learning and playing, we use many of our neurological pathways and other systems of our bodies. In other words, while we may be reading about neuroscience, which many of us think of as strictly related to our brains, we are considering our eyesight, our muscle control, our hearing, and much more. All together, the love of music and the many bodily functions discussed can't help but connect with the reader.

I have, in large part due to reading this book, picked up playing and learning the guitar again and plan to learn keyboards/piano next. For both my enjoyment and my health, I think it will be time and energy well spent. Will this volume do the same for you? Who knows. Maybe you'll just enjoy knowing more about what you already do, whether you sing and play for audiences or just in the shower.

Yes, there is science here. But it is interesting and made both accessible and relevant, so it isn't intimidating. If you want to understand why and how music speaks to so many, you will find many ways into the book and once engaged you will find yourself eager to learn more, and to hear or play your favorite song.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley.
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Every Brain Needs Music is more than just a thesis or scientific analysis but also demonstrates how important practice and the joy of learning are to playing a musical instrument or composing music.   There is so much more to this book than just science.  Anecdotes and stories of musicians and teachers also add interest and colour to the learning process.

This in-depth study of the connection between music and our brain would be ideal in an educational setting as a college or university class.  The chapters that explain the scientific connection require a lot concentration and as I received a digital copy of the book I realized that to really delve deeply into the subject I needed the printed copy.  

 Here are a couple of quotes from the book:

"Music allows humans to say something with personal interpretation, without having to project their egos."

"Studying a music instrument can be a valuable process beyond the pleasure of the skill itself because it tends to also develop the traits of successful lifelong learners."

"Curiosity has also been implicated as an essential component of creativity."

Get the printed copy and savour it.
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As an 86-year-old woman who just began music lessons online with Scott Houston, the Piano Guy, I am amazed at how this book gave me renewed incentive to practice-practice-practice! This isn't the first time that I've tried, but now I understand what music does to my brain, and I am encouraged to keep this up! (At this age, we need all the help we can get.)

Part technical and part motivational, "Every Brain Needs Music" becomes maybe a bit too technical for the average reader with no medical background, but the motivational sections are interesting enough to keep reading. Because I read this in galley form, the illustrations were not well-configured, so I took off one star, but nevertheless, I highly recommend this book for all musicians, instrumental and vocal, accomplished or not, and even for musician wannabees such as me. All of it is written in a friendly, readable style, so you won't be disappointed.
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Great read. Insightful. Essential 2023 reading. I look forward to reading it again once a galley is ready.
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This book is SOOOO cool with a lot of information about how Our body contains intelligent mechanisms but We not often stop to think and discuss about in the regular day by day. I Appreciate a lot these kind of contents and the reading was so compelling and interesting all the way through. Well done!
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As an amateur musician and failed neuropsychologist, this book is wonderful. In simple words, but without being superficial, it describes a number of mechanisms that enable us to appreciate, make, and play any kind of music. The authors then also point out the changes that music, whether produced or listened to, brings to our brains, but the best part is that this whole process of explanation, does not diminish the wonder of it all one ounce.

Da musicista dilettante e mancata neuropsicologa, questo libro é meraviglioso. Con parole semplici, ma senza essere superficiale, descrive una serie di meccanismi che ci permettono di apprezzare, fare e suonare qualsiasi tipo di musica. Gli autori poi evidenziano anche i cambiamenti che la musica, sia prodotta che ascoltata, apporta al nostro cervello, ma la cosa piú bella é che tutto questo processo di spiegazione, non diminuisce nemmeno di un grammo la meraviglia del tutto.

I received from the Publisher a complimentary digital advanced review copy of the book in exchange for a honest review.
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