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Press Clips

Aug 02, 2022
Enhance Life with Music Podcast Episode 137
Our very first social interactions are musical, and the singing of lullabies to babies is universal across cultures. We discuss the common elements of lullabies, benefits of live-sung lullabies to both baby and caregiver, and just how long those benefits extend.
Jul 01, 2022
TVO: The Agenda
After two years of lockdowns and social distancing, music festivals and concert halls are back. Laurel Trainor, professor of psychology, neuroscience and behaviour at McMaster University, and Rachael Finnerty, founder of the Music Therapy Academy, join us to discuss how music affects us.
Nov 16, 2021
POV Hamilton Podcast
On this POV Hamilton podcast we’re learning all about the LIVELab, a combination concert hall / research lab that is unique in the world for how it can study the physiological and psychological effects of music, dance, and performance on artists and audiences.
Aug 19, 2021
Science Daily
We live our lives in real time, watching events unfold moment by moment. To make better sense of the world, however, our brains automatically predict how some events will unfold moments into the future. New research explores the brain's 'prediction machine' capabilities by examining how we experience music.
May 03, 2021
Siminovitch Forum
Join us for a conversation led by some of Canada’s top theatre-makers and scientific minds that will explore what scientists can learn from artists, what artists can learn from scientists and how the union of the two is a key to creativity.
Sep 14, 2020
LIVE Talk 4.0 - Music and the Brain - Moderated by Dr. Ivan Gligorijevic, CEO, mBrainTrain with Drs. Stefan Debener, Andrew Chang, Laurel Trainor & Anna Zamm
Jul 28, 2020
The Kennedy Center
Episode 11- Music: A Super Power for Children with Antonio Damasio, MD, PhD(USC), Assal Habibi, PhD(USC), Nina Kraus, PhD(Northwestern), Laurel Trainor, PhD (McMaster)
Jun 16, 2020
Carnegie Hall Lullaby Project
Carnegie Hall Lullaby Talk by Dr. Laurel Trainor
Feb 18, 2020
BBC Radio 3: The Listening Service
Why do we seem to love music from the day we're born? Are we born musical? Tom Service and experts reveal how babies interact with all kinds of music.
Feb 21, 2019
by Daryl Keating
Feb 01, 2019
Non-verbal communication between performers helps provide subtle musical cues
Jan 18, 2019
Scientists have discovered a new technique to examine how musicians intuitively coordinate with one another during a performance, silently predicting how each will express the music.
Jan 17, 2019
The Globe and Mail
From students and teachers to executives and artists, The Globe’s Stepping Up series aims to shine a spotlight on Canadians offering inspiration and leadership across the country.
Jan 15, 2019
Arts Forum
By John Arkelian,, January 2019
Dec 24, 2018
The Ottawa Citizen
Nov 28, 2016
The Hamilton Spectator
Mac researcher uses LIVELab to help find out
Mar 17, 2016
McMaster Optimal Aging Portal
BLOG POST: The latest scientific evidence on this topic was reviewed by the McMaster Optimal Aging team and Dr. Laurel Trainor
Nov 09, 2014
TODAY Parents, NBC
Babies enjoying a little "Twist and Shout" have some important lessons to share about bonding and the power of music.
Jun 30, 2014
Pacific Standard
Babies provide more help to adults who bounce in-sync with them along to music.
Jun 30, 2014
The New York Times
Moving with a partner to the musical beat may make people more cooperative — even babies as young as 14 months.
Jun 24, 2014
Science World Report
Swaying to music's rhythm may have more of a scientific meaning than meets the eye. Researchers at McMaster University in Canada found that people who move together are also building social bonds. For this study in particular, published in the journal Developmental Science, researchers found that moving together in the same time can affect the social behavior of babies who have barely even learned to walk.
Mar 11, 2014
Enable Education: Minds Enabled
Laurel Trainor discusses ways in which the study of music can benefit a child's brain, even at a very early age.
Jan 15, 2014
Tri-Cities News
Dr. Laurel Trainor, a professor of psychology, neuroscience and behavior at McMaster University, has said young children who take music lessons show different brain development and improved memory compared to children who do not receive musical training.
Nov 12, 2013
National Geographic: News Watch
To learn more about how babies respond to music, we interviewed Dr. Laurel Trainor, director of McMaster University’s Institute for Music and the Mind in Hamilton, Ontario.
Aug 01, 2013
Lögberg-Heimskringla Icelandic Newspaper
The people have spoken! The winner of the first-ever People's Choice Award for 3MT [i.e. the 3-minute thesis] is Kate Einarson, whose three-minute thesis, Finding the Beat in Music: The Role of Culture, Cognitive Abilities and Motor Skills, struck a note with online viewers." - McMaster University bulletin.
Aug 01, 2013
Innovation Quest (IQ) Magazine: Brainpower
McMaster's new LIVE Lab will provide researchers with rich sets of data that are not available anywhere else in the world. - McMaster University bulletin.
May 16, 2012
TIME Healthland
The actively-trained infants were less distressed by frustration, showed less anxiety about new experiences, smiled and laughed more and were easier to soothe. The researchers write, the active classes led to more positive parent-infant social interactions compared to the passive classes.
Jul 05, 2011
The Globe and Mail
People focus so much on cognitive benefits. I think there are some, but I don't think they are as large as people would like them to be," says Laurel Trainor, a scientist at McMaster University in Hamilton who studies music and the developing brain. "I think the social and emotional benefits are just enormous and we are just starting to comprehend that.
Mar 11, 2011
Parent Central
[Young] brains are getting wired to integrate the senses,” says Laurel Trainor, professor and director of the auditory development lab at McMaster University. She has found that even young babies can distinguish the difference between songs sung as lullabies and those used in play.
Sep 01, 2010
CBC Radio 2's "In Concert"
Music educators will tell you, 'don't give [young children] complex rhythms, because it's very very difficult for them to learn. Wait until they're even older before you give them anything that's complicated'. But what we're finding is that young babies can do the complex rhythms, they can hear them perfectly well.... We're showing that what infants are listening to and the particular experiences they're having even before one year of age, is already wiring up their brain in a particular way. And in fact the brain is probably most plastic at these early ages, and so maybe we should be thinking about what kinds of music programs we want to have for very young children.
Aug 01, 2010
Parents Canada
Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Your child is probably not the next Mozart or even the next Justin Bieber. But don’t turn off the karaoke machine just yet. A musical environment plays an important rolein nurturing brain development, if not a future career.
Jul 01, 2010
Learning music isn't going to take your child from average to a genius, but it can help her be a better learner," says Laurel Trainor, a professor of psychology, neuroscience, and behavior at McMaster University and director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind in Ontario, Canada. "Learning how to play music actually has an effect on how the brain gets wired when it comes to memory and attention", says Trainor.
Nov 06, 2009
Inside Science News Service
For most people music is an enjoyable, although momentary, form of entertainment. But for those who seriously practiced a musical instrument when they young, perhaps when they played in a school orchestra or even a rock band, the musical experience can be something more. Recent research shows that a strong correlation exists between musical training for children and certain other mental abilities.
Jul 13, 2008
The Boston Globe
I've never felt so paralyzed standing before my CD collection as the day I brought my newborn son home from the hospital and decided to play him his very first music. So much was at stake. Should it be modern or Baroque? Orchestral or opera? Would Mozart make him smarter? Would Schoenberg instill in him revolutionary tendencies? Would Wagner make him loathe his Jewish roots?
Oct 21, 2007
Toronto Star
We instinctively know our favourite song or the perfect piece to fit or change a mood. We pump up volume and tempo to get our adrenaline flowing. We look for slow melodies and easy harmonies to unwind after a stressful day. Could it be that this is the ultimate in psychological self-medication?
Sep 20, 2006
Globe and Mail
Music lessons can help children as young as 4 show advanced brain development and improve their memory, even when it sounds like a budding musician is banging out little more than noise.
Sep 01, 2006
McMaster Times
Musicians, scientists, and educators come together to discover the role music plays in defining who we are
Sep 01, 2005
McMaster Times
New research suggests that babies' brains are wired for rhythm
Jun 15, 2005
National Post
People tend to think of the senses as distinct- taste, touch, sound, smell. But a new study of babies' responses to music suggests there may be more overlap than we might think.
Jun 03, 2005
The New York Times
Gently bounce a baby while you sing, and you'll usually get squeals of glee. But it's not just fun: Feeling the beat helps wire babies' brains to hear rhythm.
Jun 15, 2002
CBC Radio, Quirks & Quarks