Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Making and Listening to Music

Whenever a person engages with music, countless neurons are firing―when a piano student practices a scale, a jazz saxophonist riffs on a melody, someone sobs to a sad song, or a wedding guest gets down on the dance floor. Playing an instrument requires all of the resources of the nervous system, including cognitive, sensory, and motor functions. Something as seemingly simple as listening to a tune involves mental faculties most of us don’t even realize we have.

Joining us at this special event:

  • Neuroscientist and lifelong musician Dr. Larry Sherman
  • Grammy award-winning, Hopi-Nez Perce Native American flutist James Edmund Greeley
  • Internationally acclaimed gospel, jazz and blues singer Marilyn Keller
  • Singer, composer, pianist and recording artist Naomi LaViolette, and
  • Celebrated cello and bass quartet Porchello

This Science on Tap is a multi-media lecture and concert to show how our brains and music work in harmony. They consider music in all the ways we encounter it―teaching, learning, practicing, listening, composing, improvising, and performing―showing how the brain functions and even changes in the process. Learn new perspectives on learning to play, teaching, how to practice and perform, the ways we react to music, and why the brain benefits from musical experiences.

The event is also a book release celebration for Every Brain Needs Music: The Neuroscience of Making and Listening to Music, written by Dr. Sherman and former Warner Pacific University Professor of Music and musician Dennis Plies. Written for both musical and nonmusical people, including newcomers to brain science, this book covers all of the topics in the lecture (and much more) and is a lively and easy-to-read exploration of the neuroscience of music and its significance in our lives.

  • Event Date

    Wednesday, May 31, 2023

  • Start Time

    7:00 pm Pacific

  • End Time

    8:30 pm Pacific

  • Tickets


    General Admission: $35

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    Ticket fine print

    We at Science on Tap are committed to offering educational opportunities to adults who want to learn. If the ticket price is a hardship for you, please write to us and we're happy to provide reduced-price tickets to those who request them.

  • Venue

    Aladdin Theater