Can Neuroscience Help Us Do a Better Job of Teaching Music?

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Donald A. Hodges, Professor Emeritus (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:

Abstract: We are just at the beginning stages of applying neuroscientific findings to music teaching. A simple model of the learning cycle based on neuroscience is Sense ? Integrate ? Act (sometimes modified as Act ? Sense ? Integrate). Additional components can be added to the model, including such concepts as active rather than passive learning, learning activates reward centers, all learning is emotionally colored, plasticity, neural pruning, nature and nurture, critical and optimal periods, the pattern-detecting brain, imitation and the social learning brain, group learning, empathy and social emotions, learning is multisensory, and learning requires memory. When this model and the components are applied to music teaching, they confirm best practices. Innovation pedagogical strategies will be forthcoming when there is a better understanding of the brain and music learning.

Additional Information

General Music Today. 23(2), 3-12
Language: English
Date: 2010
Neuroscience, Learning cycle, Music teaching

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