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CRBLM Workshop – Musicians: Born or Made?

This scientific workshop on Music and Talent is to be held on January 19th 2013, from 9:30 a.m. at Université de Montréal, Carrefour des Arts et Sciences, Pavillon Lionel-Groulx, Room C-3061.



The role of natural endowment and hard work in musical performance is one of the oldest and most contentious issues in both science and society. Up to the 20th century, innate talent was associated to musicianship. Over the last century, the prevalent view has been that intensive practice is key. The goal of this workshop is to examine whether music practice alone can account for individual differences in musical abilities or if we should also acknowledge the importance of innate predispositions.



9:30 – Coffee and muffins

10:00 – Isabelle Peretz (Université de Montréal). Introduction to the workshop

10:30 – Françoys Gagné (UQAM). “Musicians are ‘born’ in many more ways than commonly thought”

11:00 – Laurent Mottron (Université de Montréal). “Veridical mapping in the development of exceptional autistic abilities”

11:30 – Joanne Ruthsatz (Ohio State University). “Becoming an expert in the musical domain: It takes more than just practice”

12:00-1:15pm – Dinner break (a wide variety of cafés and restaurants are available in nearby Cotes-des-Neiges)

1:15pm – Caroline Palmer (McGill University). “Practice is not everything”

1:45pm – Robert Zatorre (McGill University). “Predispositions and plasticity in musical skills: Evidence from brain imaging”

2:15pm – Larisa Shavinina (Université du Québec en Outaouais). “On the Nature of Giftedness”



The workshop is free and open in priority to the academic community. Registration is mandatory.

Please click here to register online.



The workshop is to be followed by a free concert-conference, to be held at Salle Claude Champagne, Université de Montréal, with piano performance by young virtuoso Tiffany Poon and keynote lectures by Gary McPherson (Melbourne University) and Danick Trottier (Université de Montréal). It will start at 4pm. It is free and open to all (no registration required).

To view a video of the concert-conference, please click here…


This event is jointly organized by the CRBLM (Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music) and OICRM (Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique).


Jan 19 2013


9:30 am - 3:15 pm




Carrefour des arts et sciences - C-3061
Pavillon Lionel Groulx, 3150 Jean-Brillant, Université de Montréal



BRAMS (International Laboratory for Brain, Music and Sound Research) is a unique laboratory dedicated to research excellence in the study of music and auditory cognition with a focus on neuroscience. BRAMS is located in Montreal and jointly affiliated with the University of Montreal and McGill University.


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