THE INSTITUTE FOR
Newspaper and magazine articles
Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 1996
Young Students Learning Library 1996 Science Yearbook, NY: Newfield, 1996
The Boston Globe, Health/Science, 1997
Harvard Gazette, 1997 and 2001
Los Angeles Times, 1998
USA Today, 1998
Harvard Medical School Alumni Bulletin, 1999
Discover Magazine, 2001
New York Times, Science TImes, 2001
Boston Globe, Health/Science, 2001
New York Times: Science Times section, May 16, 1995
The Mystery of Music: How it Works In the Brain
Synopsis: Parallels between the evolution of language and music.
Quotes: "The ability to perceive and enjoy music is an inborn human trait" * "The first musical instrument was probably the human voice. As language flourished, so did music, with different cultures inventing different types of resonators. While language was used to transmit knowledge, music was used to promote social cohesion through shared tribal rituals." -- Dr. Mark Tramo
Boston Magazine: October 1995
Note Well: Childhood Music Lessons Yield Some Rewards That Parents Can't Hear
By: Tricia Gray
Synopsis: Musical structure and brain organization.
Quotes: "Music involves organizing information and organizing cognitive abilities," says Mark Tramo, a neurobiologist at Harvard Medical school. "All the frequencies that comprise sounds can be manipulated, bringing order. If we expose someone to music they will encounter structures like octaves and scales, and they will be using their brain -- so when the task becomes going to school and learning long division, they may be more insightful because of their cognitive training."Back to article list
APA Monitor (American Psychological Association): July 1997
Musical studies Provide Clues to Brain Functions
By Beth Azar
Synopsis: Lateralization of musical faculties
Quote: "The jury is still out," said Tramo. "But it still looks like lateralization isn't as strong for music as it is for language. Still it is fascinating that the so-called 'minor' hemisphere might play a leading role in certain aspects of music perception and cognition," Tramo said.
Associated Press: November 9, 1998
Music May Help Neurological Therapy
By: Jane E. Allen
Quote: "Undeniably, there is a biology of music," said Dr. Mark Jude Tramo, a neurobiologist at Harvard University Medical School. "Music is biologically part of a human life, as music is artistically part of a human life."Back to article list
LA Times, 1996
Brain Comes Alive to Sound of Music
Quote: "There is no question that there is specialization in the brain for the processing of music," said Harvard neurobiologist Mark Jude Tramo.
Scholastic News (for kids) -- September 28, 1998
Does Music Make You Smarter?
By: Karen Fanning
Synopsis: Music and the development of cognitive abilities.
Quotes: Many of the same neurons that are used in music are also used in math, language, and thinking. Scientist believe that learning how to play an instrument like the piano or drums will not only make you a musician, it may make you a better student. "It's a lot like saying: If you exercise your body by doing calisthenics, you not only build your coordination, you also improve your ability to play football and tennis," says Mark Tramo.Back to article list
Parade Magazine: June 14, 1998
Will Piano Lessons Make My Child Smarter?
Synopsis: Playing music may improve learning, memory, logic, and general creativity.
Quotes: "There's an overlap in the brain mechanism -- in the neurons used to process music, language, mathematics and abstract reasoning," says Dr. Mark Tramo, a neuroscientist at Harvard Medical School. "We believe a handful of neural codes is used by the brain, so exercising the brain through music strengthens other cognitive skills. It's a lot like saying" If you exercise your body by running, you enhance your ability not only to run but also to play soccer or basketball."
Boston Globe: April 19, 1997
Quotes of Note
Quote: "If you want to maximize your children's intellect, give them music lessons" -- Mark Tramo
New York Times:
Perfect Pitch Found on Left Side of the Brain
By: Sandra Blakeslee
Synopsis: Comment on possible hemispheric specializations for absolute pitch
Quote: "Many researchers have assumed that bigger is better and tried to correlate structure and function, said Dr. Mark Tramo, a neuroscientist and Harvard Medical School. But some argue that complex traits like language or music and embedded in microcircuits all over the brain. The right hemisphere 'does well with single word comprehension,' Dr. Tramo said. But the extraordinary talent for music, language, or other complex human traits might be related to details of micro circuitry all over the brain, he said."
Washington Post: December 15, 1997
For Geeks, It's Music to Their Ears
By: Mark Leibovich
Synopsis: Music and intellect
Quote: Theories abound as to why techies form bands. The phenomenon even has a scientific basis, experts say. "There is a great deal of overlap with the intellectual aspects of math and music," said Mark Tramo, a brain scientist at Harvard Medical School who has studied the effects of music on human cognition.