Western launches initiative exploring musical learning experiences across lifespan

The University of Edinburgh‘s Katie Overy started her academic career with her graduate research, which examined dyslexic children’s difficulties with musical timing and the potential of rhythm-based music lessons to support dyslexic children’s language and literacy skills.

Jessica Grahn, a cognitive neuroscientist at Western University’s Brain & Mind Institute, is conducting groundbreaking research with more mature patients suffering from Parkinson’s disease using Rhythmic Auditory Stimulation (an emerging physical therapy for walking, or gait, rehabilitation) in an effort to re-train the brain using music and dance.

Overy, currently serving as a Visiting Professor in Music Education at Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music, and Grahn are now combining their efforts as part of Western’s new research initiative, Musical Learning Across the Lifespan.

Musical Learning Across the Lifespan (MLAL) brings together faculty and students from Western’s Don Wright Faculty of Music and The Brain and Mind Institute with a goal of facilitating collaborative, interdisciplinary research on musical training and expertise, while exploring the variety and richness of positive musical learning experiences across infancy, childhood, adulthood and aging.

The initiative officially launches Saturday, October 17 with the Musical Learning Across the Lifespan Symposium, a one-day event featuring a number of international experts that runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Paul Davenport Theatre, Talbot College.

Overy, the Director of Edinburgh’s Institute for Music in Human and Social Development, will lead the symposium while Grahn will present a lecture entitled, “Rhythm Processing, the Brain and Parkinson’s Disease” at 11:30 a.m. Keynote speakers include Steven Demorest from Northwestern University and Psyche Loui from Wesleyan University.

Admission is free but participants must register.

For more information and to register, please visit: https://music.uwo.ca/research/research_groups/mlal/launch-event.html

MEDIA CONTACT: Jeff Renaud, Senior Media Relations Officer, 519-661-2111, ext. 85165, jrenaud9@uwo.ca, @jeffrenaud99

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