Science Blast 2022

This year our question is:

Why is playing a musical instrument considered good for your brain?

We predicted that it was because playing an instrument is a good ‘workout’ for your brain. But we needed to learn why.

Step 1:

We learned about the basic functioning of the brain. We also learned how to draw a picture of the brain.

A sample from our class.

Step 2:

We learned about the Nervous System.

We learned what a neuron is and we created a model of it using seaweed (for the dendrites), icrecream wafer (for the axon)





Step 3:

We learned about the myelin sheath which in an insulating and protective layer on the axon. We covered our axon with white paint to represent this.



Step 4:

We explored the neural pathway using dominoes. We set up 10 dominoes in a row with our partner and we showed how the message gets through the neurons by knocking down the dominoes. We also had a game of ‘Chinese Whispers’ to demonstate this.


Step 5:

We explored how sometimes the myelin sheath can become damaged. We showed this by removing dominoes from the middle of the row. Now the message couldn’t get through.





Step 6:

We investigated how demylination can happen – the myelin sheath gets damaged and this can be found in people with Alzheimer’s or Dementia, for example.


Step 7:

How can music help?

We watched a really good video about how music can trigger memories in people with Dementia and Alzheimer’s

Step 8:

What does music do to your brain?

We listened to pianist and neuroscientist Dr. Larry Sherman speaking about what happens in our brains when we play musical instruments. We wrote about his finds during our English lesson.

For example, one pupil wrote:

If you play an instrument for multiple years it will generate a lot of myelin. If you have a lot of myelin the messages travel quicker to and from your brain.

Another wrote:

Playing musical instruments change the brain. They help your brain make myelin. The more myelin you have the faster the messages travel to and from your brain.