USA - International Document

Music on Our Minds: The Rich Potential of Music to Promote Brain Health and Mental Well-Being

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Global Council on Brain Health

Year of Publication:

Global Council on Brain HEalth

Publication Type:


The Global Council on Brain Health (GCBH) is an independent collaborative of scientists, health professionals, scholars, and policy experts from around the world who are working in areas of brain health related to human cognition.

The GCBH convened a group of experts in Washington, DC in February 2020 to examine the impact of music on the brain. Throughout the sessions, experts examined evidence on whether and how music influences brain health, looking for areas of agreement and identifying areas that require further exploration.

Their discussions led to a series of recommendations and consensus statements intended to help people understand the potential that music holds for supporting and enriching brain health. This paper summarizes those findings, while identifying gaps in the evidence base that researchers need to pursue. It also provides a glossary of technical terms used in the document, and lists resources for readers who wish to learn more.

The GCBH focuses on useful information for men and women age 50-plus, adults in different stages of health, and caregivers. Where possible, this report touches on cognitive outcomes in older adults. However, music’s effects on the brain start in infancy, and much of our discussion applies to people of all ages. This report is not intended to be a systematic, exhaustive review of all pertinent scientific literature on the topic. Rather, it highlights major issues in the field, with an awareness of the public’s need for reliable information on brain health. Selected references at the end of the document provide helpful background material and present a sizeable sample of the current evidence underpinning the GCBH consensus in this area.

Evidence Type: Literature Review

Main Focus: Mental Health

Research Purpose: Literature Review

Context: Community

Participant Group: Older Adults

Art Forms: Music

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Global Council on Brain Health. (2020). Music on Our Minds: The Rich Potential of Music to Promote Brain Health and Mental Well-Being. Global Council on Brain Health.