On Now

Music Through The Night®
Andrea Blain
Listen to the Stream
  • Symphony No. 2 12:20 Robert Schumann
    Baltimore Symphony Orchestra
    David Zinman
    Buy Now
  • Banjo Love 12:16 Ranaan Meyer/Steven Hackman/Nicolas Kendall/Zachary DePu
    Time For Three
    Buy Now
Other MPR Radio Streams
Choral Stream
MPR News
Radio Heartland

You can now listen to Classical and Choral Music on your iOS (iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad) or Android device.

Blog Archive

February 2008
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29  

Master Archive

Contact Us

Purchase the Music

  • Buy the music you've heard on-air! Your purchase helps support our classical service.


Classical Notes

Classical Notes: February 19, 2008 Archive

Music: Gift, or learned skill?

Posted at 10:25 AM on February 19, 2008 by Gillian Martin (3 Comments)

An article in yesterday's New Scientist magazine states that "Yet more evidence has emerged that musicians are made through training, not born with the gift." (See the article here.)

This assertion is based on brain scans that show that specific areas of a musician’s brain increase activity when the musician hears his/her own instrument.

“If the brain's response to the music were decided by genetics, [the researchers] argue, brain scans would be similar in all musicians listening to music, regardless of the instruments played.”

I think it is undeniable that some people are more inherently musical than others. (For example, I only recently learned that some of my friends do NOT constantly have music playing in their heads.)

I also know that less-musically inclined people can become more musical with training and repeated exposures to music. But to suggest that musicians are made ONLY through training, not “born with the gift”? Ridiculous.

What do you think?

Comment on this post