Musicians, Performance and the Brain: A One Day Symposium

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Royal Irish Academy of Music

36-38 Westland Row

D02 WY89 Dublin 2


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Musicians, Performance and the Brain is a symposium devoted to neurological aspects of skilled musical performance; neurophysiology of musicianship; impact (benefits) of music on the brain; musician’s dystonia and other aspects of musician’s health & the act of performance.

This is a Dystonia Ireland Project, funded by the Health Research Board.

It is a partnership between the RIAM, Trinity College, the University of Dublin, University College Dublin and St. Vincent's University Hospital.


10.00 hrs: WELCOME: “Training Musicians in Ireland”

Professor Deborah Kelleher, Director, RIAM

10.15-10.50: "Specialization of brain networks in musicians with dystonia."

Kristina Simonyan, Associate Professor of Otolaryngology, Harvard Medical School & Massachusetts General Hospital,

10.50-11.15: “Fight or Flight”: Investigating musicians' experiences with performance anxiety.

Virginia Kerr, RIAM

11.15 - 11.50: “Motor control in musicians and in musician’s dystonia”

Dr Anna Sadnicka, Chadburn Clinical Lecturer, St George’s University of London &, Sobell Department of Motor Neuroscience and Movement Disorders, UCL Institute of Neurology

11.50-12.10: “Measuring musical performance in the laboratory”

Prof Richard Reilly, Prof of Neural Engineering, Trinity College D.

12.10 - 12.30: “Musical training creates superior brains; the long term benefits of musical training on the plastic brain”.

Dr Owen Killian, TCD

12.30: Q & A.


14.00-14.25: Can Music Performance Anxiety be managed through Mental Skills Training?

Vourneen Ryan, RIAM

14.20-14.45: “My Musician’s dystonia” (one of our patients) (with Dr Sean O’Riordan) “Musician’s Dystonia- in the spectrum of adult onset focal dystonia”

Dr Sean O’Riordan, Consultant Neurologist, St. Vincent's University Hospital

14.45-15.10: “Treatment of Musician’s Dystonia: the role of botulinum toxin”

Dr Fiona Molloy, Consultant Neurologist & Neurophysiologist, Beaumont Hospital

15.10-15.35: “Performance stresses in musicians; preventing & rehabilitating injury”

Dr Juliet Bressan, Dublin Performing Artists’ Medical Centre

15.35 - 15.50: Q and A and Closing Remarks

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Royal Irish Academy of Music

36-38 Westland Row

D02 WY89 Dublin 2


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