Becoming a Pianist

An fMRI Study of Musical Literacy Acquisition


Address for correspondence: Dr. Lauren Stewart, Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, 17 Queen Square, London WC1N 3AR, UK. Voice: (+44) (0)20 7679 1168; fax: (+44) (0)20 7813 2835;


Abstract: Musically naïve subjects were scanned using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) before and after they had been taught to read music and play keyboard. When subjects played melodies from musical notation after training, activation was seen in a cluster of voxels within the right superior parietal cortex consistent with the view that music reading involves spatial sensorimotor mapping.