Drumming Into Scientific Breakthrough With Percussionist Mickey Hart

Mickey Hart has spent much of his time and energy researching the relationship between music and the brain. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.org

Mickey Hart, known mostly as one of the two drummers of the Grateful Dead, has studied vigorously the relationship between drumming and neuroscience.  I came across an article by Karen Dalton of the Huffington Post that features an interview with Mickey Hart about this specific relationship and all he is doing to help further the cause.  It’s a pretty interesting read and it goes to show that music has a large impact on the brain.  I hope you get something out of the article and enjoy the two live video performances from Hart as well.  I shared one from a 1989 Grateful Dead concert featuring the drum duo, the Rhythm Devils and a second performance from the more recent Mickey Hart Band.  Enjoy!

Mickey Hart has spent much of his time studying the relationship between music and the brain.  Read more about this relationship and all the experiences Hart has shared at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/karen-daltonbeninato/mickey-harts-brain-on-dru_b_1908061.html.

By the time Mickey Hart finished his AARP convention appearance in New Orleans yesterday, we had quite literally seen his brain on drums as his brain waves were projected onto a screen by neurologist Dr. Adam Gazzaley through the magic of electrodes and computer modeling. Hart then led the audience in a 1,000-piece drum circle until it felt as if the roof was going to vibrate off the convention center.

The National Association of Music Merchants hosted Hart’s AARP session to demonstrate the interplay of rhythm on brain function, which ties in with the legendary Grateful Dead drummer’s longtime focus on the healing power of music and mental health. He shared the story of his grandmother’s fight with Alzheimer’s, and how years after she had stopped speaking he picked up a drum that was in the car, started playing it for her and she said his name.

“It all comes down to the vibrations and rhythm of things and how they interact, and now we have the real science,” Hart says of his collaboration with Dr. Gazzaley on music, memory, attention and aging. “Before, it was anecdotal. But every musician knows it works. When you get off the stage and your consciousness is elevated, there’s a whole different kind of priorities in your body. We’ve never really been able to see the brain on music.” It’s just the beginning as far as Hart is concerned. “I’ve been working in my field for many years and so has Adam, so it’s a handshake between science and art.”

Mickey Hart is most well known for his time spent as one of the drummers for the Grateful Dead.  Catch him in a Rhythm Devils feature at a Dead concert in 1989 at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QC9dp-_1ZmQ.

Lastly, Hart has put together his own band recently and been producing some good music.  Catch a live performance with the Mickey Hart Band at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewGu6X3UvHs.

I hope you enjoyed this feature on Mickey Hart and a discussion about the relationship between music and the human brain.  There’s more to come from Play Drums By Ear, so stay tuned for more!



Leave A Reply (No comments so far)

No comments yet