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Too Much Noise?

“Hearing Too Much in a Noisy World: Even ordinary levels of background din can drown out the meaning our brains seek from sound.” From an op-ed by Nina Kraus in the Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Nina Kraus, Professor of Audiology at Northwestern University, has dedicated her research life to understanding the power of sound, and how sound is processed in the brain.

That lifetime of exploration around sound is now available in an interesting, entertaining read: Of Sound Mind: How Our Brain Constructs a Meaningful Sonic World.
As Dr. Kraus’ book explains, sound plays an unrecognized role in both healthy and hurting brains. Kraus explores the power of music for healing as well as the destructive power of noise on the nervous system.

Not Only for The Music Together Community

Dr Kraus’ book complements the large body of research upon which the Music Together early childhood curriculum is based.  In a letter to Music Together Worldwide CEO Susan Darrow, Dr. Kraus wrote of the book: “It is my love letter to sound, how sound connects us, its biological impact on making us…us, and how it affects the society we live in. I hope and like to think this book will have something to offer Music Together.”
Definitely, as parents or caregivers of young children, the more we understand about sound and music learning,  the better for our children.  But of course, all of us here at Pakachoag believe engaging with music brings value that lasts throughout life.  This book can give us additional insight into the importance of music in learning as well as on-going health and well-being.

More About ‘Of Sound Mind’

Neurologist and author Dr. Nina Kraus“Making sense of sound is one of the hardest jobs we ask our brains to do. In Of Sound Mind, Nina Kraus examines the partnership of sound and brain, showing for the first time that the processing of sound drives many of the brain’s core functions. Our hearing is always on—we can’t close our ears the way we close our eyes—and yet we can ignore sounds that are unimportant. We don’t just hear; we engage with sounds. Kraus explores what goes on in our brains when we hear a word—or a chord, or a meow, or a screech.”  From MIT Press, from where the book can be ordered: Of Sound Mind- MIT Press
You can listen to an NPR interview with Nina Krause here: https://www.npr.org/2021/10/15/1046460029/how-do-we-make-sense-of-the-sounds-around-us

“Nina Kraus is a brilliant communicator in her explorations of music and the brain. Of Sound Mind is an engaging and entertaining read. With lively analogies and diagrams, the book is accessible for those just getting their ‘ears’ wet, but has much to offer for musicians and researchers as well.”  Renée Fleming, world renowned Soprano and arts and health advocate.