Niels Christan Hansen – Cognitive Music Theorist
Niels Christian Hansen is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the School of Music, Ohio State University. As a researcher he is primarily interested in musical expertise, music cognition and the neuroscience of music.
In his Ph.D-project, Niels demonstrated how musical expertise is not an innate ability, but rather a question of practice and specialisation. His research shows that the learning process is important for acquiring musical expertise, whether as a musician or a listener.
As a classical pianist Niels Christian has been playing concerts and attending master classes all over Europe, proving that he does not only know how music affects our brain, but also how to do it himself.
Even if Niels Christian argues that musical expertise is a question of practice rather than innate abilities, he acknowledges that there’s always something ‘extra’ to music that we are not able to formalize.
In his talk, Niels Christian challenges our understanding of musical skills as something reserved to the musical geniuses, and argues that musical expertise is actually within the reach of all of us.