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Headshot of a woman.
Photo courtesy of Dr Nina Kraus

Neurobiologist and director of the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University

Dr. Nina Kraus is a professor of neurobiology at Northwestern University where she directs the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory, also known as Brainvolts. She has made the study of how we biologically process sound her life’s work. She and the Brainvolts’ team have conducted long-term, multi-year studies looking at the brainwaves of children and found that making music—whether with instrument or voice—actually makes biological changes to the way the brain processes sound which, in turn, strengthens the ability of the brain to better apprehend the depth and breadth of language and speech. Simply put, creating music builds our capacity to turn sound into meaning. Nina is passionate about sound—she remembers as a child sitting under her mother’s piano as she played. She brings that same sense of wonder and excitement to her rigorous biological research, and you’ll hear it throughout the podcast…which is a perfect way to explore the way we process sound.

Headshot of a woman.

Opera Singer and 2012 National Medal of Arts Recipient, The power of music to make us whole

Headshot of Akua Kouyate-Tate
Photo courtesy of Wolf Trap

Senior Director of Education at the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts

Wolf Trap is integrating art with fundamental science and math learning for young children and the data show significant results.

Brian Kisida
Photo courtesy of Brian Kisida

Researcher, Education Reform Brian Kisida

"Art Makes You Smart" and Brian Kisida co-published a study that proves it! [27:05]

Isabel Wilkerson
Photo by Joe Henson

Author

Isabel Wilkerson talks about her book, The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration, focusing on the transfer of Southern culture to the North, creating a new, vibrant culture in the country. [25:33]

Judy McCulloh
Photo by Mary E Yeomans

NEA National Heritage Fellow

Awarded the 2010 Bess Lomax Hawes Award for the preservation of cultural heritage, Judith McCulloh talks about her extensive work as a folklorist and editor at the University of Illinois Press.   [24:04]