Lectures and seminars Brain and Culture lecture: Musical Prodigies

08-10-2020 11:00 am Add to iCal
Online Zoom meeting. See details below

On October 8th there will be a Brain and Culture with Gary McPherson from Melborne University, Australia

Speaker: Gary McPherson from Melborne University, Australia

Zoom information

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Meeting ID: 694 0765 4688

Passcode: 178196



One of the most contentious debates in psychology, education, biology and other related disciplines centres on the source of exceptional ability. To what extent can the remarkable achievements of eminent musicians, intellectuals, visual artists, writers and so on be explained through “nature” (genetic endowment) or “nurture” (the environment)? How can these achievements, regardless of their source, be identified and fostered? The explanation I provide builds on my research across 30+ years as a music educator and researcher that has been devoted to studying children’s musical development and the small pool of children within this population we distinguish as musical prodigies who display extraordinary musical abilities. The presentation will conclude by showing examples of how the various facets described during my presentation form a distinct and unique choreography of interactions that is unique for each child. As part of this explanation I will provide a hypothetical explanation of the facets that are believed to contribute most to the emergence and nurturing of musical prodigiousness. Since much of the existing literature is based on little more than anecdotic support an important part of this explanation will describe issues that would benefit from empirical confirmation of the ideas expressed in my presentation. 


Fredrik Ullén Professor