How fluently do music psychologists, music educators, and practicing musicians communicate with one another? Circumstances do not always favor an easy interaction. Each group has its own language, and the specialist ways of communicating that exist within each group may not always work across group boundaries. Moreover, cross-disciplinary interactions are not always explicitly encouraged by the institutions within which music researchers and practitioners work. These everyday limitations help to explain why music educators and practicing musicians have not benefited as much as they could from the past few decades of music psychology research and why music psychologists often neglect to cite, and so benefit from, relevant studies published in the mainstream research journals of music education.
In this book, we attempt to bridge the interdisciplinary gaps that currently separate music psychologists, music educators, and practicing musicians by developing new approaches to teaching, learning, and making music that are informed and inspired by the results of recent research in music psychology, music education, and acoustics—whether that research is published in music psychology or in music education journals. In this way, we aim to produce something fresh—a book that is without precedent in either music psychology or music education.
To help achieve this aim, each chapter is coauthored by two internationally recognized scholars: one a scientist (psychologist, acoustician, physiologist, or physician) and the other a performer or music educator. Authors who are well versed in both music education and music psychology are coupled with collaborators with relevant complementary expertise in the area of the chapter. These collaborations, many of which are entirely new (some coauthors have not, at the time of writing, met face to face!), have at times been inspirational and at other times frustrating. The artistic authors wondered why the scientific authors sometimes indulged in virtuosic scientific methodology and terminology with little or no meaning for practicing musicians; referred so often to the literature as to give an impression of insecurity; made simplistic generalizations in areas that obviously involved complex cognitive, artistic, and judgmental processes; or