The 6th Dorothy Taubman Piano Festival
Cali School of Music

Montclair State University
23 June 2017

Neuroscience and Piano Performance

For more information about subjects covered in this talk, go to Categories in the right-hand column of this blog site and scroll down to Neuroplasticity, Learning and memory, Music cognition, Musician’s Brain webinar, Practice, and Brain hardwiring.



Altenmüller,E., and Jabusch, H-C.  Focal Dystonia in Musicians:  Phenomenology, Pathophysiology, triggering factors, and treatment.  Medical Problems of Performing Artists.  2010(1): 3-9.

Amedi, A., et. al., 2008.  Neural and behavioral correlates of drawing in an early blind painter: A case study.     The journal article concerning Esref Armagan.

Altenmüller, E. and Gruhn, W.  1997.  Music, the brain, and music learning.  Chicago: GIA.  A study concerning declarative and procedural teaching styles.

Pascuel-Leone, A., et. al., 1995.  Modulation of Muscle Responses Evoked by Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation During the Acquisition of New Fine Motor Skills.  Journal of Neurophysiology, 74(3):  1037-1045.

Perruchoud, D., et.al. 2014.  Focal dystonia and the Sensory-Motor Integrative Loop for Enacting (SMILE).  Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. doi:  10.3389/fnhum.2014.00458

Wilson, F. R.  Glenn Gould’s Hand, 2000


Eckart Altenmüller, Mario Wiesendanger, Jürg Kesselring, Eds.  2006.  Music, Motor Control and The Brain.   Includes chapter on Schumann’s focal dystonia.

Barbara Arrowsmith-Young.  2012. The Woman Who Changed her Brain.
Arrowsmith-Young changed her brain long before the term plasticity was in use, transforming herself from a child with extreme learning disabilities to an adult with above normal cognitive skills.  A fascinating read!

Daniel Coyle.  2009.  The Talent Code:  greatness isn’t born. it’s grown. here’s how
This book is about extraordinary levels of talent, and how they occur.  Coyle is really talking about the myelination of axons in the brain, although he rarely mentions the term.

Norman Doidge.  2007.  The Brain that Changes Itself: stories of personal triumph from the frontiers of brain science.
All about neuroplasticity; a collection of case histories detailing stories of individuals who have changed their brains – and their lives – under extraordinary circumstances.

Leon Fleisher and Anne Midgette.  2010.  My Nine Lives: A Memoir of Many Careers in Music 

George Kochevitsky. 1967.  The Art of Piano Playing:  a scientific approach.

Daniel J. Levitin, 2006.  This is Your Brain On Music:  The Science of a Human Obsession.  How we experience music and why it is so important in our lives.

Frank R. Wilson.  1986.  Tone Deaf & All Thumbs?  An Invitation To Music-Making.    Convinced that everyone has an inborn ability to make music (a “biological guarantee of musicianship”).


The MusiCorps Wounded Warrior Band performing Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah with Oleta Adams and the Kansas City Symphony; with Roger Waters at Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.; playing Wide River to Cross with cellist Yo-Yo Ma at the Kennedy Center.

Nobuyuki Tsujii.  Chopin Etude in C Major, Op. 10

Evelyn Glennie.  TED 2003.  How to Truly Listen


Lois Svard.  College Music Society Webinar.  A Musician’s Guide to the Brain:  what we need to know and why.   Discusses neuroplasticity, how we wire our brains as we learn music, how we also can wire in injuries.


Dystonia Medical Research Foundation

Eşref Armağan, blind Turkish painter.  The site includes several video clips, including one of neuroscientist Alvaro Pascual-Leone discussing his work with Armagan.

The UK site for musician’s focal dystonia:  http://www.focaldystonia.co.uk/#

MusiCorps – Conservatory-level music program for severely injured servicemen at Walter Reed started by pianist/composer Arthur Bloom.