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How music promotes healthy aging in seniors

This is Science Today.  Music has the power to change our moods or brighten our day. And it may also be beneficial for our health. One neuroscientist at the University of California, San Francisco has shown how involvement in music carries many health benefits, especially as we enter old age. Dr. Julene Johnson traveled to Finland to research how community choirs promotes healthy aging in senior citizens.

Johnson:         I selected Finland because it's a country that promotes lifelong involvement in music, from childhood all the way through older adult. I did a cross- sectional study to a group of approximately 120 older adult singers. I had them fill out questionnaires and they had high scores on a lot of the assessments of well-being and quality of life and had very low scores on depression.

Narrator:        Now, Johnson has plans for a much larger study in San Francisco and intends to start up eleven senior citizen choirs in low-income neighborhoods. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.