The Musical Brain: What Students, Teachers, and Performers Need to Know (Hardcover)
We make or listen to music for the powerful effect it has on our emotions, and we can't imagine our lives without music. Yet we tend to know nothing about the intricate networks that neurons create throughout our brains to make music possible. The Musical Brain explores fascinating discoveries about the brain and music, often told through the stories of musicians whose lives have been impacted by the extraordinary ability of our brains to learn and adapt. Neuroscientists have been studying musicians and the process of making music since the early 1990s and have discovered a staggering amount of information about how the brain processes music. There have been many books discussing neuroscience and music, but this is the first to relate the research in a practical way to those individuals who make or teach music. Research in mirror neurons, neuroplasticity, imagery, learning and memory, the musical abilities of babies, and the cognitive advantage of studying music can offer valuable insights into how and when we should begin the study of music, how we can practice and teach more effectively, how we can perform with greater confidence, and can help us understand why experiencing music together is so important in our lives. An accompanying website provides links to interviews, performance clips, demonstrations, photos, and essays involving the concepts or musicians discussed in the book.
Pianist Lois Svard is known for her performances and recordings of works by American experimental composers. She has also written and lectured extensively about the applications of neuroscience research for the study and performance of music. She is Professor Emerita of Music at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, and is the author of the blog The Musician's Brain about music, the brain, and learning.