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Singer Renée Fleming reveals the healing powers of music in her new book “Music and Mind”

Renée Fleming, famed opera singer and five-time Grammy winner, examines the therapeutic effects of music and the arts on health in his new book, “Music and Mind.” The book, which includes contributions from scientists, artists and medical professionals, explores the profound impact of music on human health and well-being.

Fleming, a 2023 Kennedy Center The winner, said during research for her book, she discovered there were particularly important benefits to introducing music early in children’s lives.

“There’s a whole section on music education for kids, which is really important,” Fleming said.

She highlighted a chapter by neuroscientist Dan Levitin that details how music engages complex brain circuits more than any other activity, thereby improving language processing and spatiotemporal reasoning.

Fleming’s interest in the cognitive benefits of music was sparked while she attended presentations at the National Institutes of Health by scientists, therapists and researchers.

“After about five years, I said I want to share this with the public, so this is kind of my gift to the field,” she said.

The book has 41 chapters, allowing readers to select topics of personal interest.

“You can just choose the topics you like,” Fleming said.

The soprano recounted an anecdote from the foreword to Francis Collins’ book, which describes an impromptu song at a dinner attended by three Supreme Court justices.

“It was a bit tense, it was a week after the marriage equality ruling. So the judges didn’t particularly engage that night. But they did after we all sang together ” she said.

Addressing the state of music therapy, Fleming noted that while insurance coverage varies by state, there is growing recognition of its benefits and the need for a standardized approach to ensure broader adoption of music therapy.

“This is a relatively new area in terms of the rigor and efficiency that the science needs to be able to ensure this,” she said.

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