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February 24, 2017
‘SOUND HEALTH’
NIH-Kennedy Center Initiative Expands
Wearing red, members of the NHLBI Office of Science Policy, Engagement, Education and Communication gather for a photo.
ABOVE: At the 2-day January workshop launching the in-depth collaboration, NIH scientists Dr. Bob Finkelstein (l) of NINDS and Dr. Emmeline Edwards of NCCIH join NIH director Dr. Francis Collins and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor-at-Large Renée Fleming, renowned soprano, for a discussion on music and neuroscience. Below at left, Dr. Isabelle Peretz of the University of Montreal addresses the assembly.

PHOTOS: ERNIE BRANSON

Through a new partnership, NIH and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will expand on an initiative that NIH has had with the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) for several years called Sound Health. Scientists are already investigating how music can be used to help cancer patients fight anxiety about treatments, help children with autism learn communication skills and help people with Parkinson’s disease walk in a steady rhythm. But there is much still to be learned.

Dr. Isabelle Peretz of the University of Montreal addresses the assembly.

Eminent scholars and researchers convened a workshop at NIH on Jan. 26-27 to discuss the evidence of how music is processed in the brain and used as therapy.

The new collaboration will broaden the scope of Sound Health to include current knowledge and understanding of how listening to, performing or creating music involves intricate circuitry in the brain that could be harnessed for health and wellness applications in daily life; explore ways to enhance the potential for music as therapy for neurological disorders; identify future opportunities for research; and create public awareness about how the brain functions and interacts with music.

As a result of the workshop, NIH will identify areas of science that provide the greatest opportunity to validate current findings and advance knowledge about when and how music can be an effective treatment. Findings will be presented at a public event at the Kennedy Center on June 2-3 called Sound Health: Music and the Mind. The event will feature performances by the NSO and interactive presentations and discussions with some of the world’s leading minds working at the intersection of neuroscience and music.

The NSO will continue to perform regularly for patients, doctors, nurses, visitors and staff at the Clinical Center.
Leading researchers, clinicians and music therapists working in music and neuroscience from 24 institutions in 3 different countries gathered to evaluate the state of the field, identify knowledge gaps and inform future research. Leading researchers, clinicians and music therapists working in music and neuroscience from 24 institutions in 3 different countries gathered to evaluate the state of the field, identify knowledge gaps and inform future research.
Leading researchers, clinicians and music therapists working in music and neuroscience from 24 institutions in 3 different countries gathered to evaluate the state of the field, identify knowledge gaps and inform future research.

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