Tag Archives: learning progression

Mirror neurons and music, part III: imitation learning

Photograph:  Lewis Whyld/PA

Photograph: Lewis Whyld/PA

Pianists seem to be used as research subjects more often than any other musicians – perhaps because there are so many of us, both amateur and professional. I once met a well-known singer who, upon finding out that I was a pianist, remarked that pianists “are a dime a dozen.”  Not the most gracious comment when meeting someone.  On the other hand, our numbers guarantee a ready supply of subjects for neuroscience research, including research on mirror neurons.  And speaking of lots of pianists, I couldn’t resist this photo of fifty-two pianos with, I believe, two pianists at each piano, taken at Royal Festival Hall in London in May 2011 on a “massed piano day,”  held during a five-day mini festival, “Lang Lang Inspires.”  This photo illustrates an aspect of mirror neurons that I hope will become clear over the next few posts.

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