Live Long and Master Aging podcast



Why music helps us age better

Brandon Carone: Memory and Lifespan Cognition Lab, UCLA

Could listening to music be an important pillar of longevity? If you feel down and listen to a favorite song it can pick you up. Some people say music helps them work harder and the power of music to evoke memories is second to none. There is anecdotal evidence that playing an instrument or enjoying a favorite album can have a lasting impact on our state of mind and, as a therapy, it can help people suffering from the chronic conditions of old age. Brandon Carone is a research assistant in the Memory and Lifespan Cognition Lab at UCLA and research coordinator with Music Mends Minds, a non-profit group that creates musical support group bands for patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, traumatic brain injury, stroke, and for veteran’s with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In this LLAMA podcast interview with Peter Bowes, Brandon explains why music could be much more than a soundtrack to our lives and why, at 21, he has dedicated his life to understanding music as a therapy.


Connect with Brandon: Memory and Lifespan Cognition Lab | Music Mends Minds

In this interview we explore:

  • How Brandon’s fascination with the power of music started as a child, covering classic rock songs.

“When I go and play my guitar it just completely takes me away from everything – (it) de-stresses me like nothing else.”

  • The correlation between favorite songs and emotion.
  • Why a chemistry major switches to music cognition.
  • Research at the Memory and Lifespan Cognition Lab at UCLA, exploring the difference between younger and older adults and their ability to recall memories.

“I want to do anything I can to make sure that people can just enjoy life for as long as they can.”

  • Persuading young and older adults to take part in memory tests.
  • Natural memory loss as we age.
  • How people suffering from debilitating mental conditions respond to music.
  • Anger management and music.
  • How music improves our mood.

“If I’m feeling down, or not feeling great, I can just put on a song that I like – and it just instantly boost my mood.”

  • Reference at 14’24” – “Stephen Gibbs had a stroke two years ago, and developed aphasia as a result. The neurological condition affects a person’s ability to communicate, and left the Wellingtonian essentially mute. A musician and music teacher – amongst other things – by trade, Stephen turned to music therapy and writing as part of his recovery.” Read more…Music therapy is helping me recover from Aphasia— Huffington Post
  • Is there a mathematical formula behind brain behavior?
  • Meet the Beverly Hills Treble Makers
  • Pre-birth memories and how they impact us in later life.
  • Funding for research into studies related to music and health.
  • The uplifting power of music, at all ages.

“When I talk about this stuff everybody can kind of relate to it.”

Related episode: Mending minds though the power of music – Carol Rosenstein

Follow us on twitter: @LLAMApodcast