Brain research and music education were on the agenda when the head of the Center for Music in the Brain (MIB), Professor Peter Vuust, spoke at a conference for music and education in the Musikhuset Aarhus. The conference was collaboratively arranged by the Royal Academy of Music and MIB, and more than 400 teachers from music schools all over the country participated. On the first day, the conference focused on brain research and music education. Besides Vuust, the three international scientists Eckart Altenmüller (Denmark), Mari Tervaniemi (FinIand), and Glenn Schellenberg (Canada) also gave speeches.
Vuust’s speech, titled “Groove on the Brain,” focused on the mechanisms that make people capable of experiencing and understanding rhythm.
The theory about “predictive coding” forms a framework for a big part of the research taking place at MIB. Predictive coding represents the human brain’s ability to understand and decode the surrounding world by predicting the future. When something deviates from our predictions, the brain reacts. An error message occurs (prediction error), which is sent forward in the system, making sure that our prediction models are updated. When this happens repeatedly, these prediction deviations become regularities, an outcome that later results in learning.