I just got Aniruddh Patel‘s book, Music, Language, and the Brain because I am keenly interested in learning more about the relationship between music, language and our complex neurological system.

Music, Language, and the Brain
Music, Language, and the Brain

Patel is a neuroscientist and musician who was quoted on National Public Radio today in the story, Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved, about his research about the possibility that language evolved from music.

Quoting the NPR piece:

“Even Charles Darwin “talked about our ancestors singing love songs to each other before we could speak articulate language,” Patel says.

And musical ability is similar to language in that you can see aspects of it in other species. Some monkeys can recognize dissonant tones, songbirds use complicated patterns of pitch and rhythm, and a few parrots can even dance to a beat.”

Although I am not a neuroscientist, I truly see the link between language and music as it relates for language learning, especially foreign language education.

The seven minute piece is a good introduction into the topic of language, music and the mind.


  1. Music is an underutilized tool in the instruction of a foreign language. u00a0Specifically, I would like to commend the show, Glee! u00a0I applaud Ricky Martin for his appearance! u00a0As a Spanish teacher, myself, I am pleased to see that Mr. Martin is helping raise awareness of the importance of bilingualism in the United States! u00a0Did you hear the statistics? u00a0They are not made up!!! u00a0By the year 2030, English will be the SECOND most commonly used language in the U.S.A. u00a0I started my children on a program to introduce foreign languages at the age of three. u00a0Both are now fluent in Spanish and Italian. u00a0Everybody knows Rosetta Stone, but for the younger generations, I like http://www.heywordy.com. u00a0My family and I have never been more entertained while being introduced to a plethora of languages!u00a0

    • I don’t watch Glee!, but you are right, having a celebrity promote foreign language learning on a popular show like that is major progress.u00a0 I am familiar with David Burke of Slangman. I didn’t know he had a new product, Hey Wordy. Thanks for sharing this. I will look at Burke’s new site.u00a0

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