Short Courses & Events / Archive

Brain, Movement, and Song

Thursday 4th March 2021, 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM (London Time)

This workshop will provide a gross overview of brain anatomy with a focus on how the brain controls movement, and the voice in particular.

Motivating case

  • Meet the Chimpanzees: Viki and Washoe
  • Why can Apes use sing language, but not speak or sing?
  • Is there something special about the way that the human brain controls the voice?

Gross brain primer

  • The four lobes
  • Grey matter vs white matter
  • Networks

Neuroscience of movement

  • Primary motor cortex
    • Somatotopy
    • Descending motor pathways
    • Movement from electrical stimulation
    • Paresis from damage, e.g., stroke
  • Cortico-striatal loop
    • Functions
      • Executing motor plans
      • Learning new motor plans
    • Anatomical components & their connections
      • Supplementary Motor Area
      • Basal Ganglia
      • Thalamus
    • Relevant disorders
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • Huntington’s disease
  • Cortico-Cerebellar Loop
    • Functions
      • Correcting movement errors
      • Sensory feedback
    • Anatomical components
      • Cerebellum
      • Thalamus
  • An example from Dance: fMRI Tango!
    • Lead with your cortico-striatal loop
    • Follow with your cortico-cerebellar loop

Neuroscience of song

  • Specialisation for voice motor control
    • Uniqueness to humans
    • Electrical stimulation & Lesions
    • Brain imaging studies
      • Song
      • Speech
      • Emotions

Birdsong

  • Avian song production system
    • Analogy with human primary motor cortex
  • Avian song learning system
    • Analogy with human cortico-striatal loop
  • Brain imaging evidence
    • Vocal imitation fMRI

Summary

  • Humans share a motor system with other mammals
  • But with some voice specialisation
  • Similar specialisation also appear in songbirds

Dr Michel Belyk

Dr Michel Belyk studies the vocal system of the human brain. Humans have a degree of control over the larynx that is unparalleled among primates. Acquiring...

Sorry, this is an archived short course...

We have plenty of upcoming short courses coming soon. See details of some of them below or look at the full list of short courses.

Compassion Focused Training (CFT) for Singers, Singing Teachers and Other Music Professionals (2-week course)
Monday 4th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
(London Time)

Compassion Focused Training (CFT) for Singers, Singing Teachers and Other Music Professionals (2-week course)

Dr David Juncos

In this two-part course, you will learn about the theoretical underpinnings of Gilbert’s CFT model and Neff & Germer’s model of self-compassion. You’ll also learn about the three emotion regulation systems, and specifically how to increase activity in the Soothing & Contentment system, which is known to create feelings of safeness within oneself & with others, when activated. Specifically, you’ll learn compassion-enhancing strategies to help manage common sources of stress for musicians.

Developing Inclusive Praxis & Safe Spaces for Global Majority Vocal Students
Tuesday 5th December 2023
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM
(London Time)

Developing Inclusive Praxis & Safe Spaces for Global Majority Vocal Students

Natasha Hendry

This workshop considers what it means to provide a safe learning space for all students; engages in self-reflection and wider reflection; challenges, where necessary, some of the frameworks and systems that dominate vocal theory and praxis; and seeks to make visible some of the many issues Global Majority students and teachers face that remain largely invisible in mainstream vocal rhetoric.

Vocal Warm-ups For Children; why, how, what?
Thursday 7th December 2023
5:00 PM - 7:00 PM
(London Time)

Vocal Warm-ups For Children; why, how, what?

Olivia Sparkhall

This talk will cover both the importance of vocal warm-ups for children and the best approaches for different ages. We will look at working one-to-one as well as great ways to engage classrooms of children and choirs.