Q. Someone told me I could help age-proof my brain by taking music lessons. Both my children do but I’m nearly 45! Could it help?

A. More than 300 years ago Francois Couperin (the French composer) declared that by the age of 6 or 7, children should begin studying instruments. He was perhaps ahead of his time! Research has shown that the study of music can be advantageous to the human brain.

Music lessons and accompanying practice can stimulate the growth of dendrites on neurons (thinking cells) at almost any age. Increasing the number and length of dendrites can help to age-proof your brain. And about your age—I heard a brain research say that there is a growth spurt potential in the human brain between the ages of 50 and 60. Taking music lessons could help stimulate your brain and help set you up for a healthier retirement.

You are giving your children a real brain gift by providing them with the opportunity to study music. Why not give yourself the same gift?