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'Tales of the Neural Tango' — The Art and Science of Music and Music Therapies

Posted 04/17/2014
Submitted by Philip Grover
Category: Campus Announcements

Join The Hartt School in welcoming alumna Martha Summa, who will share research on music and the brain and her passion for music and music therapies.

All events are free and open to the public.

…a lecture and performance workshop to celebrate the art and science of music with Martha Summa

A performance and interactive discussion of music and the brain, how music is used to treat a variety of neurological disorders, and how musicians, educators, and therapists can use music in their professions. Demonstrations will develop an awareness of responses in the body and highlight works by composers with neural afflictions.

Thursday, April 24
Bliss Music Room, Alfred C. Fuller Music Center, University of Hartford

7:30 p.m. — Pre-concert Lecture

Principles of biomedical music on motor, speech, and cognition disorders • How the body moves to rhythmic entrainment • Using biomedical techniques with children with ASD.

8:00 p.m. — Concert

Topics before Intermission:

  • How cognition is affected in musicians studying music; how neural networks can be redirected thru the use of biomedical music techniques
  • Demonstration of how music can help attention span in individuals with attention disorders
  • Use of music as a therapeutic addition to speech techniques
  • Works by Beethoven, who suffered from sensori-neural deafness; Schumann, speculated to suffer from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia; Messiaen, who suffered from synesthesia

Topics after Intermission:

  • How music helps with the intrinsically biological movement of gait and walking, affected by Parkinson’s, dementia, stroke, autism, and a large variety of diagnoses.
  • Therapeutic Instrument Musical Performance and therapeutic interventions
  • Works by Tjeknavorian and Piazzolla demonstrated to encourage motor activity


Composers Forum
Wednesday, April 23, at 5 p.m. in Bliss Music Room

A discussion (facilitated through performance and presentation) of the science of music and the brain, including how composers afflicted with neural problems—especially Beethoven, Schumann, and Messiaen—handled those disorders in their own compositions.

Paranov Hour
Thursday, April 24, at 12:15 p.m. in Millard Auditorium

A discussion of the science of music and the brain, accessible to musicians and laypersons with little or no scientific background. Topics include: music and the brain; music therapy and how music can assist with motor, speech, and cognition issues; overcoming “musician’s illnesses,” such as stage fright, muscle overuse, focal dystonia, and breaking the tempo barrier.

Dr. Martha Summa-Chadwick has a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Kansas and is a Fellow of the Academy of Neurologic Music Therapy. She obtained her Bachelor of Music from the University of Hartford’s The Hartt School in 1983. She has enjoyed successful careers as a concert pianist, teacher, and Information Technologist. She is a great advocate of music therapy and partners with certified music therapists.

Click the link below to download a flyer about these events.


"Tales of the Neural Tango" flyer
Download document