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The Power of Music – Jack Leroy Tueller

Orphaned at age 5, this WWII veteran, went on to play first chair trumpet at BYU.

This is a remarkable story from Jack’s military experience.

The Power of Music & Memory

Music imprints itself on the brain deeper than any other human experience. It speaks to us in a different language and arouses every emotion. It connects us all, it is a force that ignites our souls.

Music may protect against effects of Alzheimer’s


ATLANTA – Children who learn to play a musical instrument and keep playing for many years will enjoy a better brain when they age. Not only will they retain cognitive skills that others may loose, they may enjoy special protections against some effects of Alzheimer’s disease, according to a study conducted by Brenda Hanna-Pladdy, PhD., a clinical neuropsychologist in Emory University‘s Department of Neurology.

“Natural aging of the brain and the effects of the more accelerated decline found in neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s Disease may be delayed or diminished, ” said Hanna-Pladdy.

Her study used a comprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests on individuals age 63 to 80. Those with more than ten years of experience playing a musical instrument performed best in tests. Those with less than ten years experience score lower. Those with no experience tested lowest. Subjects were tested on spatial memory, naming objects, and cognitive flexibility, the brain’s ability to adapt to new information. These abilities typically decline as the brain ages or affected by conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease

Previously, research has been done on the cognitive benefits that come with musical activity by children, but this is the first study to examine whether those benefits can extend across a lifetime.

Roger Lutterman of Sandy Springs scored high in tests conducted by Hanna-Pladdy’s team at Emory. “It’s not surprising,” said Hanna-Pladdy. “He’s been playing the piano for 60 years.”

When told of the connection between his musical history and his high scores, Lutterman, a retired Delta Airlines pilot, smiled and said, “it kind of feels like having an extra insurance policy in your back pocket.”

Hanna-Pladdy said, “Music literally changes and strengthens your brain because it is such a complex activity, demanding a range of auditory processing, motor skills, and memory. Playing an instrument helps create new alternative pathways for your brain to communicate and that plasticity may act as a buffer against cognitive decline as we get older.”

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I sang for my Dad today … January 30, 2011

I called Dad this evening. Tonight, I sang to him. I sang “The Rainbow Connection” (Kermit the Frog). I heard him clearly do a “hahahaaaaaaaaaa” with a smile in the tone. These are the first sounds I have heard him make since late November, Thanksgiving. It was awesome! Happy day!!! End of story, I sang to Dad again, same song, knowing there was a smile on the other end of the line.

I love you Dad!


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