A Descriptive Study of Myers-Briggs Personality Types of Professional Music Educators and Music Therapists with Comparisons to Undergraduate Majors: a review by Rebecca Dideum

Article written by Becca Dideum, music therapy intern

A study done in 2011, authors Anita Steele, MMEd, MT-BC, and Sylvester Young, PhD, sought out to determine personality types and demographic characteristics of professional music educators and therapists. They also wanted to determine if the personalities of professionals were consistent with undergrads in those fields and personal characteristics as suggested by the National Association for Music Educators (NAfME) and the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA).

There is previous research that supports personality being related to specific careers. However, there’s little research about music majors and their professional careers. In 1982, research was conducted that compared music educators with performers: it concluded that music educators were more extroverted, realistic, and tough-minded. The NAfME describes the professional music educator as one who has “the ability to work with people, the ambitions to continually study and improve, and the desire to help others learn.” AMTA states that music therapists should have a “genuine interest in people and a desire to help others empower themselves. Empathy, patience, creativity, imagination, openness to new ideas, and understanding of oneself are also important.”

110 music educators and 143 music therapists participated in the study. Participants were directed to a website that asked questions about their demographic information: this developed a profile of practicing music educators and therapists. Participants were also required to take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: one of the most widely used personality instruments in the world. The MBTI yielded two types of data; the personality type of each participant and the dichotomous type for each group. The MBTI offers four dichotomies of personalities with sixteen possible types: attitude toward life (Extrovert or Introvert), functions of perception (iNtuition or Sensing), functions of judgment (Thinking or Feeling), and orientation to the outer world (Judging or Perception).

The results concluded that the majority of subjects (52%) favored the Extroverts (50% of educators, 54% of therapists). Extroverts tend to have an open attitude towards life. An overwhelming number of therapists and educators favored the iNtuition preference: 77% of therapists and 67% of educators. People with preferences for intuition process information by way of unconscious associations. The battle for Thinking or Feeling resides in evaluating information with a logical process versus placing value generated by inner emotions and personal experiences. 80% of therapists and 63% of educators favored Feeling. The last dichotomy involved judging or perceiving: 75% of educators and 64% of therapists favored Judging. These MBTI results tell us that the most favored personality type for music therapists is INFJ, followed by ENFJ. For music educators the results are the opposite with extroverts in front.

The demographic question asked by the researchers was divided up into three categories: professional standing, college experience, and high school experience. The data revealed that 48% of the participants had been practicing in their field for 1-10 years; 52% had been practicing for over 11 years. The master’s degree was the highest degree reported for 57% of participants: only 8% held doctorates. In addition to degrees reported, major instruments were also taken into account. The majority of music educators played a brass instrument, followed by voice. Music therapists favored voice with pianists coming in second. In terms of high school experience, 72% studied music privately. Music therapists participated in church and community organizations more often than educators by a 10% margin; in addition, therapists volunteered in the community more than educators.

The results of the study suggest that the personalities of music educators and therapists are similar in many ways. It’s curious to note the differences in MBTI profiles in undergraduate music majors and professionals: the ENFP was preferred by the undergrads while the professionals preferred the ENFJ. The undergraduates’ profiles reflected individuals who make quick decisions, seek affirmation, and are spontaneous. Meanwhile, the professionals are seen as empathetic, responsible, and team leaders. These trait differences suggest the maturity that comes with age and responsibility.

I agree with both AMTA’s and NAfME’s expectations of professionals: that empathy, patience, and the desire to help others are extremely important attributes to both fields. While the MBTI supported the hypothesis that personality types of educators and therapists were related, that’s not to say that an individual with a different MBTI combination than the “preferred” cannot have a music career. The beauty of the music field is that every instrument is different, therefore every musician is different and will thus present a different outlook to their field of study, whether it be education, therapy, performance, history, or theory. I am proud to be an INFP and aspiring music therapist.

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Your Child Isn’t Special: Music Is The Thing

I am a music therapist. Music therapy is the use of music to attain non-musical goals. Yes, it is a real job and yes, I get paid to do it. So do several thousand other music therapists across the United States and even more across the globe. We are nationally board certified, licensed in some states, and many insurance companies even reimburse for our services. I may be partial, but I think I have the best job in the world.

Having said this, I do have a pet peeve when it comes to my profession. Many music therapists will tell you that they are annoyed when people assume that we are “just volunteer musicians” or that we play our “iPods for sick people”, or that we “provide therapy to musicians”. I was even once asked if I would play music for someone’s cat.

While those misconceptions about our profession are certainly less than savory, I want to tell you about my real pet peeve. It’s when a parent or family member of a potential client calls and says “I think music therapy would be good for my child or loved one because they really LOVE music”. Now you might be asking yourself, “what’s wrong with that?!” Let me tell you….

Who doesn’t love music? Seriously, I want you to think about this. Do you know any one that says, “Man, I really hate music! It’s so melodic, motivating, relaxing, inspiring, and joyous. It’s so annoying.”

So, when a parent or caregiver calls and says “Here is a child who can’t see. Music must be THE THING!” I say “Ugh.” It’s the same thing I hear everyday. Here is a child who can’t walk. Music must be the thing! Here is a child who can’t speak. Music must be the thing! Here is a child with emotion/behavior disorder. Music must be the thing! I’ll let you in on a little secret. Music IS the thing!

Every culture since the beginning of time has used music in healing, as a way to communicate, and as a way of bringing people together. Humans use music to celebrate life and death. We use music in politics, war, religion, sports and recreation, love and heartache (you know you have your go to break up song or your feel good summer jam). We sing lullabies to our newborn babies and we celebrate the lives of those passed on by playing music at their memorials. We memorize lyrics and post them to our Facebook pages because no words we could ever write ourselves could possibly encompass our feelings so completely. The songwriter must have known my story!

The fact is research has shown that music has a profound effect on the human body and psyche. Music is one of the ONLY activities that activates, stimulates, and uses the ENTIRE brain. Biomedical researchers have found that music is a highly structured auditory language involving complex perception, cognition, and motor control in the brain and therefore it can effectively be used to retrain and reeducate the injured brain. Brain imaging techniques have revealed brain plasticity (its ability to change) and research clearly shows that music learning causes the auditory and motor areas in the brain grow larger and interact more efficiently.

Stroke patients are able to walk faster and with better control over their bodies by following rhythmic cues. Adults with from Alzheimer’s are able to recall memories and feelings through the use of familiar and preferred music. Children with Apraxia of speech are able to recall and complete phrases when given a melodic cue. Premature infants increase their sucking rates 2.5 times when exposed to music, helping to improve nutritive sucking and increase their weight. Studies show that music-making improves test scores in standardized tests, as well as in reading proficiency exams.High school music students score higher on the math and verbal portion of SAT, compared to their peers. Yet we wonder why our students math and science grades continue to decline after we have removed music programs from our schools. An education in the arts promotes abstract and creative thinking, but we don’t really need to be able to extrapolate information to form new and innovative ideas, do we? Let’s cut it.

So, I apologize if I sound like a smarta**. But no, your child is not special. We ALL love music. Music therapy is not good for them because they love music, it is good for them because music is the thing. And while there are those who are much more gifted at music than others, we as humans can always share our love of music with the world. You know why? Say it with me now… “Because music is the thing.”

See just what music can do! Sign up for a free consultation to learn more about music therapy!

 

 

Image credit: Flickr user basykes

Welcome, Sarah!

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Sarah Edwards is excited to be completing her music therapy internship at the George Center for Music Therapy. She graduated from Converse College in May of 2017 with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology. Upon completing her clinical work at the George Center she will receive her Bachelor of Music in Music Therapy, also from Converse.  During her time at Converse, Sarah worked with individuals with Alzheimer’s and dementia, children with developmental disabilities, patients and families in hospice care, as well as patient of general and pediatric units in the hospital. In addition to her coursework, Sarah has enjoyed being a part of her church choir, Converse dance ensemble, performing as a vocalist locally in Spartanburg, leading contemporary worship services, and being president of Musicians Helping Others- a music therapy advocacy organization on her campus. Sarah is passionate about music therapy and can’t wait to learn through all that the George Center has to offer!

Optimizing Well Being and Supporting Personhood in People Living with Dementia

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We would like to thank everyone who took the time to attend our concurrent session at Dementia Action Alliance's 'Re-Imagine Life with Dementia' Conference. It was an honor to present alongside our friends from Arbor Company and McCormick Club. For more information on this presentation or its content, please email HannahR@TheGeorgeCenter.com.

Article Review: Songwriting, Art, and Trauma

 

Trauma is complex, whether experienced or witnessed. Think sexual, psychological, and physical abuse, as well as maltreatment, and neglect. It’s one of those things that can take various forms, living inside our minds as a memory or series of memories that plays on repeat, while feeding on the past like a parasite that won’t let go. It manifests in our minds and puts on a production that presents itself through our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in ways that are sometimes out of our control. I believe that we all have our own trauma, but I would argue that we are not all victims of trauma. We as humans go through our lives, experiencing “traumatizing” events that can alter our path or affect how we respond in future situations. But trauma itself is defined as “a deeply distressing or disturbing experience”, which implies that the human being, whether mind, body, or soul, has been significantly damaged. Overall, trauma is not something to be taken lightly.

Traumatic experiences can be difficult to cope with and move beyond. A victim of trauma can get fixed in a loop of the same event, confuse the past with the present, while becoming helpless of feeling in control of his or her environment. Depending on the type of trauma, different stimuli can trigger specific emotional and behavioral responses. For example, a victim of sexual abuse may experience significant stress and anxiety if confronted with an intimate situation with a person of the opposite sex, ultimately leading to a sense of fear. To be reminded of a traumatic experience can almost be like reliving it through evoking physiological symptoms such as increased heart and respiratory rate, or feelings of fear and helplessness, which all mimic what the actual event was like. Trauma is complex.

Thankfully, more research is being done on how to treat the negative consequences of trauma-related experiences. In the article read for this review, Christenbury (2015) introduces us to a brief overview of the effects of trauma. The introduction explains that trauma can negatively impact the structure and functioning of the brain with consequences of social, emotional, and intellectual development. Victims of trauma are more likely to blame themselves, become filled with shame, and exhibit self-destructive behaviors. Furthermore, feelings such as lack of self-worth, self-blame, the inability to express emotions and, poor organizational and problem-solving skills are all likely consequences of trauma. There are, however, modalities to remediate these consequences. “Like what?” you ask? Creative arts, such as, music therapy and art therapy.

Christenbury (2015) tells the story of a patient she treated over a six-month period in which she used multiple modalities of both music and art to achieve therapeutic outcomes. The client, referred to as Leah, is a young girl who was both physically and sexually abused as a child. The approach taken in this case study was very unique in that the therapist utilized both music and art to facilitate treatment outcomes. The timeline of treatment was about 9 sessions long, and consisted of Leah drawing pictures related to basic emotions of happy, sad, anger, and safety (I wonder here, is safety an emotion or more so a feeling?). After the sessions that involved drawing pictures, the therapist would go and write a song that was based off of the drawing and inspirational content discussed in the previous session. Now you might be thinking, what about therapist countertransference? Well, Christenbury addresses this issue appropriately near the end of the article.

I enjoyed reading this article and encourage others to read it for a number of reasons. First, the article was written in a non-traditional format of most research articles and took the approach of telling a story of the subjective AND objective data. Through most of my research courses I’ve learned that when presenting research you are telling a story and must capture the interest of your audience by providing purpose. Unfortunately, a lot of the interest can get lost in a quantitative study where one can end up drowning in the data. This is a great read for those who enjoy reading in a prose format.

Second, the author did a fantastic job at articulating the characteristics of the music that were used within the study (If you’ve ready any of my other reviews you know that this is something I feel very strongly about). For each song there was a corresponding emotion that was portrayed through specific characteristics in the elements of music. Overall, the songs were described as short with voice and guitar accompaniment, while each individual piece was discussed more or less in terms of harmony, rhythm, strum pattern, etc. Furthermore, the author has audio examples of the songs written! I haven’t listened yet, but I plan to do so ASAP. Finally, this article raised some questions for me. Creative art therapies have gained momentum in becoming recognized by allied healthcare professions in the past few years, including music therapy, art therapy, and drama therapy. So I begin to ask, are we at a point where we are beginning to stand on our own two feet as primary approaches to therapy? We’ve often been referred to as “alternative” therapies, which I no longer believe is the case. Also, is it appropriate to use things such as art and drama in music therapy sessions without the proper training? How can the creative arts begin collaborating to develop finite techniques like the one introduced in this article? What can I do to bridge this gap? These are the discussions I believe we need to start having as a profession so that we can become a primary therapy that has proven to and will continue to accomplish unique outcomes.

 

 

Christenbury, K. R. (2015). I will follow you: the combined use of songwriting and art to promote healing in a child who has been traumatized. Music Therapy Perspectives, 35(1), 1-12.

 

Picture:  www.dangriffin.com

Book Review: Look Me in the Eye

 

Look Me In the Eye is unlike any book I have ever read and for that reason alone I put it in my ‘Top 10’ list of books currently living on my bookshelf. The book is written and told through the lens of John Elder Robison, who shares his life story of living with Asperger syndrome, via a heart wrenching memoir. Robison tells explicitly detailed stories from his entire life in chronological order, which includes stories of his traumatic childhood, to creating special-effect guitars for the rock band KISS, all the way to receiving his “Aspergian” diagnosis at the age of 40. To call each chapter a short story would do the book a disservice, as each chapter provides specific lessons about about life and living with Aspergers, while challenging our current beliefs of societal expectations, human perception, and empathy. Robison is humorously expressive in telling these thought-provoking tales of his life. The chapters are short, easy to read, and chock full of the exciting adventures and emotionally wavering experiences.

I became interested in this book for two main reasons, the first being that I felt the need to educate myself further about ASD through the accompanying perspectives of individuals with the diagnosis. I know several individuals with Asperger's diagnoses, but have never spoken with these individuals about their condition and sought out what it was like to live with it. My lack of knowledge in this area is something I knew I needed during my pursuit to become a music therapist. This book taught me much more than I could have anticipated and would recommend the book to anyone wanting to experience life through the eyes of an “Aspergian”. The second reason I became interested with this book was after I read about John Elder Robison’s resignation from the organization, Autism Speaks in 2013. Autism Speaks is an entirely separate issue that will not be discussed in this review, but there was something that captured my interest in knowing that an individual with an ASD diagnosis resigned from a national Autism organization. The book reminded me that you never know the full story of a person and that most people are doing the best they can with what they have at the moment.

This book captivated me because I was able to put myself into Robison’s shoes, to see life through his perspective, challenging me to think of my past and current interactions with individuals with Aspergers. One theme that comes up throughout the book is the difficulty “Apergians” have in socializing with others. Robison discusses that through his life he had trouble making friends and would always find himself in trouble for saying things that were true, but that people didn’t want to hear. What was his solution? Learn to avoid saying what he was thinking. This shows us how confusing it can be to learn that the actions that come naturally to us are not socially appropriate. Furthermore, being told that the way you are isn’t the way you should be can be emotionally consequential.

I immediately remember how I’ve become frustrated or put off by individuals with Aspergers because they said something rude, didn’t laugh at my jokes, or straight up didn’t respond to my comment and ignored what I said. Personally, it pains me to think that I had the thoughts that I had or allowed my perception of them to be clouded by my own discomforting experience. This is discussed within the book when Robison tells us about how he would respond to others when asked about working with famous people, like KISS. His true belief that they are just people would produce responses such as “You’re just modest” or “What an arrogant jerk!”. The book touches on the fact that “normal” people are hardwired for social cues, have stock questions to ask in social situations, and how we are socially conditioned to function in public.

This book also forced me to put myself in the shoes of my clients whom social skills are one of their primary goals. I am quickly discovering how difficult it can be to learn social skills. I’ve recognized that I have taken my own social skills for granted. Social skills require the ability to attend to another individual, while engaging in joint attention; they require turn taking and understanding of what is appropriate to say in a conversation. What about conversation skills? Well, most of us probably don’t think of the fact there are three elements to a conversation: greeting, dialogue, and conclusion. It is not the greeting that is difficult as much as it is the dialogue and conclusion. Like Robison discusses in his book, how is one supposed to know what to talk about? Why is it inappropriate to say things that are true? Why is it that interpersonal skills are one of the most important predictors of success and not the vocational skills themselves?

Look Me In the Eye provides readers the opportunity to recognize that we live in a society where we expect others to be competent and cater to our social needs. Unfortunately, we often overlook those that have social deficits. Robison comments on how you would never go up to a handicapped person in a wheelchair and say “Hey! Let’s run across the street!”. He goes on to ask readers, when he will get the same respect as someone in a wheelchair for having his own handicap; a social handicap.

 

Kolby Koczanowski, Music Therapy Intern

The George Center for Music Therapy, Inc.

Book Review: Look Me In the Eye, by John Elder Robison

Music and Facial Emotional Recognition: Journicle Review

 

Emotions are super important. Like, SUPER important. They basically dictate our lives and the everyday decisions that we choose to make, consciously or unconsciously. They motivate us to adapt our behavior, communicate our intentions, and help us manage our immediate environment. Learning to understand our emotions can lead to an increased awareness of the consequences of our actions, establish healthy coping skills, and influence how we develop and maintain social relationships. In summation, emotions are a BIG deal, my friends.

 

Unfortunately, no one can agree on what emotion really is and how to define it, which leads to inconsistency across the board when researchers decide to talk about it or make it an emphasis of their research efforts. If you don’t believe me, I’ll show you the first 30 pages of my thesis, which is essentially an eager attempt to define what emotion is. What we do know is that emotions are complex and have various different parts. One definition is that emotions are short-lived experiences of a response to a specific stimulus or scenario; they consist of a physiological response, such as increased arousal via heart rate and blood pressure; a subjective feeling, or personal mental experience; and, a physical response, including specific facial expressions. Identification of emotional facial expressions is a key stepping stone in emotion development, which directly impacts our social and communication skills.

 

For children with ASD, social and communication deficits exist as a common area of therapeutic emphasis. One possible reason for these deficits of social and communication domains could be caused by problems in emotion perception, which is what Brown discusses in her article “The Influence of Music on Facial Emotion Recognition in Children with ASD and NT Children”. Deficits in emotion perception and emotion processes have shown to cause issues including problem behaviors, joint attention and social functioning, which are ALL important. Brown mentioned how children with ASD have trouble perceiving facial expressions, but can identify emotions in music, specifically short melodies and orchestral excerpts. Due to the nature of music being inherently emotional, I am not surprised by this. Additionally, Brown discussed that “exploring the relationship between identification of emotional intent of music and perception of facial emotion may inform possible interventions for enhancing emotional understanding in children with ASD”.

 

Brown’s study was the first of its kind in researching the influence of music on facial emotion recognition in children with ASD. The study makes a blatant case for how music therapy interventions possess the ability to improve accuracy of labeling emotions and expression of emotions (Let’s face it — music is just the best). The leading research question for this article is whether children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and neurotypical children are differentially affected by music with strong emotional valence in their ratings of emotions in human faces (If you don’t know what valence is, “good”-ness or “bad”-ness).

 

Overall this study seemed to have decent methods and design. The participants in the study were 20 children with “high-functioning” ASD and 30 NT children between the ages of 6-13 years old. The task within the experiment was that the children would hear music (either happy or sad), see pictures of faces (happy, sad, or neutral), and then would have to decide how happy or sad the faces were. Participants listened to the music for 1 minute before the pictures appeared; they only had 12 seconds to rate each picture, and the music was looped for 10 minutes. The music used was “Allegro” by Vivaldi (happy) and “Adagio for Strings” by Barber (sad). The results essentially indicated that participants rated 30 faces correctly using the emotional categories of happy, sad, and neutral. Furthermore, children with ASD required repeated prompting to stay on task, response time was slower for sad music and faster for happy music, and that ONLY ratings of emotion recognition for sad faces were influenced by the music.
This article was respectable in the nature that it provided a catalyst for further research to continue down this avenue of addressing emotion-related goals, most specifically, emotion recognition. For someone like myself, this article hits close to home, as my thesis emphasizes the use of music to promote emotion recognition in young children. I’ve made my case for why emotion is important, but now I find myself questioning how my research attempts might be able to influence the music therapy profession. Brown’s study is limited in that only 2 pieces of music were used that, but vetted by both college music students and neurotypical children and given the labels of “happy” and “sad”. My question is, what is it about the music that allows us to attach these labels? Is a major key or minor key enough to suffice as a reasoning for happy and sad music? Also, how can we structure the music intentionally to convey a wider range of emotions such as anger or fear? My goal as a researcher is to entertain these questions. Once I find the answers, I’ll be sure to let you know.

Brown, L. S. (2017). The influence of music on facial emotion recognition in children with autism spectrum disorder and neurotypical children. Journal of Music Therapy, 54(1), 55-79.

Book Review - This Is Your Brain on Music

 

Review by Kolby Koczanowski, MTI

Daniel J. Levitin’s book This Is Your Brain On Music is a title that had been on my “to-read” list for quite some time, so when I was assigned to write a book review this was the first thing I picked up. Prior to reading this book, I had high expectations due to the great recommendations of my colleagues and solid reviews posted online. After reading this book, I am quite disappointed with the approach that Levitin took to explain the brain’s relationship with music. He did, however, accomplish a lot by drawing connections between the brain AND music, which until recently were rarely discussed in the same context.

 

Readers are pulled in by what should make out to be an thought provoking tale of the relationship between music and the human brain. Levitin leads with inviting words that music is an adventure that is never experienced the same way, and that one man’s Mozart is another man’s Madonna. Upon reading these lines, most people would be able to relate with the author and agree with the truth of these statements. He goes on to introduce the function of neurotransmitters, dopamine and serotonin, and how listening to music exposes the role in satisfying our greatest urges and triggering sensory pleasure systems (can you say “click-bait” or what?!). Levitin notes that people are intimidated by jargon used in music, music theory, and cognitive theory, and that this “specialized vocabulary” is often what draws people away from attempting to learn about such concepts. He claims that music experts and scientists could do a better job of making their work accessible, which is what he attempts to do in this book when he eases readers in by explaining how he wrote this book for the general reader, not for his colleagues.

 

This is where I stop and ask myself - is he sure he wrote this for general readers? Writing a book that merges the topics of music, the brain, and cognitive neuroscience is no small feat, and I applaud him for doing so; however, my belief is that Levitin attempted to do way too much in this book and did not have a ‘general reader’ actually read the book before its publication. I say this because as a music therapy student, I possess knowledge of music theory jargon and have been exposed to cognitive neuroscience and the brain for the past 6 years of my education, which makes me a prepared candidate for reading and understanding the concepts presented. For the individual with little to no prior exposure to information regarding the brain, human anatomy, and cognitive neuroscience, you might find yourself frequently backtracking several pages to fully understand the point being made. That is, unless you’ve been keeping a glossary of terms by your side to refer to throughout the book.

 

What we find in This Is Your Brain On Music is that there is a lot of information accessible for the general reader. A lot of information. In the opening chapter, What is Music?, we are introduced to a cast of characters that reappear throughout the book, such as rhythm, tempo, harmony, melody, timbre, pitch, etc. For someone with little to no musical background, these words are most likely familiar at some level, so no issue here. But soon after, Levitin jumps into his jargon heavy delivery of trying to explain things such as the pars orbitalis with prototype theory, all while drawing on comparisons to artists such as Picasso, or scenes from a movie starring Tom Hanks.

 

Levitin writes with so much jargon that it is almost not enjoyable to read. On one page he will be discussing the contour of the melody in “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, then all of the sudden he is talking about the theory of functionalism and its relationship with timbre stream integration, all while providing an explanation on how axons and dendrites work in hardwiring our brains. If I’ve lost you, then I think you get my point. The writing in this book is inherently biased in his delivery of explaining these topics in ways that make sense to him. Additionally, he will refer to famous cognitive neuroscientists as if they are celebrities that we all know and use several pages to retell a personal story of an interaction he had over dinner with a fellow colleague when he was a PhD student in the 1990s. It is this type of irrelevant autobiographical material that Levitin uses to fill up multiple pages within each chapter, disrupting any type of continuity or understanding that he had established.

 

One of the few things that makes this book accessible to the general reader is that he “name-drops” musicians and artists like hail in a thunderstorm. Levitin uses examples of the Rolling Stones, Michael Jackson, the Beatles, Beethoven, Frank Sinatra, Mozart, and at least a hundred more artists to demonstrate his points. This is quite generous on his part considering the content of the book, but he draws on so many selections of music from various time periods and genres, that readers are likely to be introduced to unfamiliar artists at least once a chapter and potentially wonder “Who is Oscar Peterson?” and “Why does it matter that he uses octaves in the left hand?”.

 

Overall, the information in the book presented is without a doubt fascinating, and I loved reading about the transfer of concepts, along with comparisons of music to multiple other fields of discipline. This book is incredibly useful and intriguing for individuals with a basic knowledge and understanding of music and/or cognitive neuroscience. I recommend it to all students pursuing careers in music therapy, music education, psychology, neuroscience, and other related areas. But like I previously stated: Levitin tried to do too much. I agree with him 150% that music experts and scientists could do a better job at making this information accessible to others, especially in the field of music therapy where we constantly rely on the brain to explain a lot of what we do. But this book is far from an introductory lesson on the topics, even though Levitin’s goal was to write with general readers in mind without “oversimplifying”. Personally, I believe that he didn’t simplify the information enough and added too much autobiographical history that had nothing to do with the topic of the book. Then again, he’s the only ex-music producer with a PhD in cognitive neuroscience that has attempted to write about the subject.
Citation: Levitin, D. J. (2006). This is your brain on music: The science of human obsession. New York, NY. Dutton Adult