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Stomping Out Loud! Music and the Brain

Date posted: 2 April 2021

Image shown: Stomping Out Loud! Music and the Brain, video still.

Stomping Out Loud! is a new video highlighting the impact of music on brain and mental health. The video is inspired by a UCC MSc Project led by Dr. Eva McMullan investigating the neurological effects of Musical Training in Children with Down Syndrome.

Dr McMullan, a lecturer at UCC’s Department of Music and director of the University College Cork Choir, created the video which features APC Microbiome Ireland researchers, the UCC Choir, body percussion composed by Luke Cresswell and Steve McNicholas from the percussion group STOMP and an Allen Billingsley arrangement of the Pentatonix cover of Fleet Foxes’ White Winter Hymnal.

We want to empower those that are suffering with mental illness with a knowledge of the power of music on brain health. We hope to encourage policy makers and those in government to see music not just as a creative outlet but an integral factor in brain health. Here in UCC, we hope to encourage collaborative research projects across these disciplines. Stomping Out loud! Music and the Brain showcases how all ages and demographics are receptive to the transformative power of music underscoring the need for deeper research in the area.’ – Dr. Eva McMullan

Dr McMullan’s research is funded by UCC’s College of Medicine and Health and affiliated with the Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience under the supervision of Professor Yvonne Nolan and Drs Jason Chan and Annalisa Setti, School of Applied Psychology. Professor Yvonne Nolan is a professor in Neuroscience and a Science Foundation Ireland Investigator at APC Microbiome Ireland in University College Cork. She leads a research team focused on understanding how lifestyle factors at vulnerable times in the life course impact upon brain plasticity, memory and mood.

Dr McMullan underscores the integral role that music and musicians have played in getting people through the pandemic: ‘Music, in many ways, has helped form a connection to the “norm”, to “people”, to “society” in a way that no other medium could. Music as a prominent medium to support mental and brain health has never been so relevant.’

For further information on Dr McMullan’s research visit http://research.ucc.ie/profiles/A021/emcmullan

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