This September, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) welcomed leading musicians, researchers, and guests from around the country to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C., to celebrate a unique area of research: How sound impacts our health.
“Music and the Mind: Shaping Our Children’s Lives Through Music Engagement,” featured musicians and neuroscientists exploring how music, rhythm, and brain development work together. This marked the second annual NIH Sound Health event; the first took place in June 2017.
The special event was co-hosted by CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Sanjay Gupta, M.D., and featured the cover star of this issue of the magazine, Renée Fleming, Grateful Dead band member Mickey Hart, jazz pianist Jason Moran, and other well-known artists.
The event also highlights a growing area of research at NIH.
Music therapy has already shown early promise for autism, stroke, and chronic pain. But researchers at NIH—through the Sound Health research initiative—are trying to better understand and track these links.
Fleming discusses how she and NIH Director Francis Collins, M.D., Ph.D., developed the sound health partnership. She also shares what it was like working with NIH researchers and undergoing a functional magnetic resonance imaging, or fMRI, scan to see what our brains reveal when we sing.