Often we listen to the same old music we did when we were youngsters. We can’t help but enjoy the beat and familiarity of those old tunes. However, your brain will reap the benefits if you listen to music to which you are unaccustomed. Listening to new harmonic sounds challenges the brain in ways that hearing familiar songs cannot. Listening to music atypical of your taste may feel uncomfortable at first; but, attending to those discordant and unfamiliar melodies forces your brain to make sense of the new sounds. Consider this: if the gym is a workout for your muscles, tuning in to the novel sounds of a different musical playlist is a workout for your brain.
Kick the habit of turning your car radio to the same station. Make a sweet sounding deal with your kids. Persuade them to listen to what you listen to (opera, symphonic, rock ‘n roll from the seventies). In return, promise to listen to their music (rap, metal, hip-hop, country) for a specified amount of time. Your brains will love this, even if your kids don’t.