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Laurel Trainor was there, playing her flute. A psychologist and neuroscientist, she's the director of the McMaster University Music and the Mind Institute.
The institute researches how music works in and on the mind.
"Why do young kids who play music develop better memory and attention focus?" asks Trainor.
The most compelling hypothesis, she says, is that music involves so much function -- both mental and physical, not to mention emotional.
The playing and learning of music requires a combination of memory, imitation, creativity, physical dexterity, mathematics and other aspects of cognition.
What's more, she adds, actively playing music is far more beneficial than passively listening to it.
We stand to learn a great deal more about the relationship between music and the mind in Hamilton as the McMaster University Music and the Mind Institute just received word that it has won a $6-million grant from the Canada Foundation for Innovation.
"Most of that money will go to building a performance lab where we can measure the brain waves of multiple performers as they play music together," says Trainor. "We'll monitor both the players' and the audience's responses."