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Science of Song symposium set for Sept. 12 at Vanderbilt

Aug. 23, 2016, 10:33 AM

Presentations illustrating ongoing research on how and why music affects us will be the focus of The Science of Song symposium at Vanderbilt University.

Music_Mind_Society_symposium_posterIsabelle Peretz, co-director of the BRAMS Research Centre at the University of Montreal, will deliver the keynote speech at the symposium, which runs from 2 to 8 p.m. Sept. 12 in the Martha Rivers Ingram Center for the Performing Arts at Vanderbilt’s Blair School of Music, 2400 Blakemore Ave. Peretz, one of the world’s foremost neuroscientists studying music and the brain, will speak on “Unraveling the Musical Brain by the Study of Congenital Anomalies” at 2:25 p.m. in Ingram Hall.

This is the third annual symposium, and the public is invited. People who wish to attend are asked to register by Sept. 6. Registration is free.

The symposium is co-sponsored by the Program for Music, Mind & Society at Vanderbilt, Vanderbilt Bill Wilkerson Center, The Curb Center for Art, Enterprise & Public Policy, Vanderbilt Kennedy Center, Vanderbilt Brain Institute, Blair School of Music and the American Foundation for Music and Science.

Reyna L. Gordon, director of the Music Cognition Lab at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said the symposium “has become an opportunity to showcase the tremendous breadth of music-related research across campus, to bring together our scholars and give them a chance to interact with the Vanderbilt community, and to educate the public about an exciting variety of ongoing scientific investigations of music.”

“This year, our ‘Science of Song’ theme focuses on cutting-edge research on song and singing with a variety of methods, as well as performances by Rodney Crowell, the Blair Children’s Chorus and songwriters in the round—Mary Gauthier, James House and Darden Smith. It will provide both outstanding entertainment and food for scientific thought,” said Gordon, chair of the symposium.

Mayor Megan Barry is scheduled to offer brief remarks to begin the day’s activities.

Academic presentations will include a spotlight on Vanderbilt research featuring “Music, Rhythm and Social Communication in Typical Development, Autism and Williams Syndrome”; “The Vocal Instrument in Health and Disease”; and “Songwriting with Soldiers: Improving Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome Through the Science of Song.” A “Lightning Talk” segment will showcase 12 additional lines of research related to music, mind and society.

A complete schedule is available at the website of The Program for Music, Mind & Society at Vanderbilt.

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