We have all experienced the effect music can have on our emotions and state of mind. We have felt our spirit lift when a happy song comes on the radio, or a pinging sense of nostalgia when we hear the songs of our childhood. While this link between music and emotion has long been a part of human life, only in recent decades have we had the technology and foundational knowledge to understand music’s effect on our brains in concrete terms.
By Scott Huntington
I was studying percussion at Western Illinois University in 2006, my life was forever changed by a guest musician named Kai Stensgaard. He entered the stage with confidence and began performing some of the most impressive and beautiful marimba pieces I had ever heard. Then he paused, attached a shaker to his leg, and picked up not two, not four, but six mallets.