FAQs

  1. How can I contact Dr. Levitin?
  2. What is Dr. Levitin working on right now?
  3. How might I study with Dr. Levitin? Will he be my thesis advisor or read a paper that I wrote?
  4. Can I volunteer at his lab? Do you have openings for a research assistant?
  5. What other labs study music and the brain?
  6. I’ve read This Is Your Brain On Music and The World in Six Songs and I’m keen to learn more. Does Dr. Levitin have any resources he can recommend?
  7. I’m a student looking for ideas for a school project? Does Dr. Levitin have any advice for me? Can I interview him for my project?
  8. Can I take a tour of your lab?
  9. Can I see Dr. Levitin for a medical consult?
  10. How can I participate in your research?
  11. Can I be the subject of a case study? I’ve had some experiences/symptoms that I think Dr. Levitin would want to study or find interesting.
  12. I am interested in a career in neuroscience and music. Does Dr. Levitin have any advice for me?
  13. I’m interested in graduate study with Dr. Levitin.
    1. General info about graduate study with Dr. Levitin.
    2. I have applied to McGill University and listed Dr. Levitin as my preferred advisor. What is the status of my application?
    3. I’m interested in post-doctoral study with Dr. Levitin.
  14. I’ve written a book or recorded music – can Dr. Levitin read it and provide feedback or a blurb for me?
  15. Where can I find reprints of Dr. Levitin’s academic papers?
  16. I am trying to learn more about music cognition beyond popular books. What academic titles do you most recommend?

1. How can I contact Dr. Levitin?

Dr. Levitin’s contact information can be found ON THIS PAGE.

2. What is Dr. Levitin working on right now?

Dr. Levitin is currently working on 30 separate research projects with collaborators across the globe. His research spans a variety of fields, from neuroscience, psychology, and music theory, to statistics, genetics and computer science. Sample projects include: research on the formation and development of musical preferences, statistical models for psychoacoustic research, neuroimaging of speech and music centers in the brain and the effects of music on physiology and pain perception.

In addition, he is working on two new books, both for a general audience. One about music and one more generally about new findings in cognitive neuroscience. We’ll post more information here as it becomes available, including sample chapters. So stay tuned!

More information about Dr. Levitin’s current research can be found ON THIS PAGE.

3. How might I study with Dr. Levitin? Would he be my thesis advisor or read a paper I wrote?

Dr. Levitin teaches both undergraduate and doctoral-level classes at McGill University which are limited to registered McGill students. For more information, please visit the McGill Psychology Website. (http://www.psych.mcgill.ca)

We are very sorry, but Dr. Levitin is not able to work with non-McGill students or to comment on individual projects or dissertations.

If you are interested in graduate work or post-doctoral work, please see #12 below.

4. Can I volunteer in his lab? Do you have openings for a research assistant?

We don’t have any openings at this time, but when we do, they are reserved for McGill students. You can fill out an application here: http://daniellevitin.com/levitinlab/mediaplayer/LevitinLab_App.doc. Given the high number of applications, individual responses are not possible. Only those invited for an interview will be contacted.

5. What other labs study music and the brain?

Links to the laboratories of our collaborators are here http://www.psych.mcgill.ca/labs/levitin/collaborators.htm and more information about other labs is here http://www.MusicAndBrain.info

6. I’ve read This Is Your Brain On Music and The World in Six Songs and I’m keen to learn more. Does Dr. Levitin have any resources he can recommend?

There is a thorough bibliography in the appendix of both of these books. If you would like to expand your research on music and the brain further, we suggest you read some of the papers listed ON THIS PAGE. More articles can be found on PubMed and Google Scholar.

7. I’m a student looking for ideas for a school project. Does Dr. Levitin have any advice for me? Can I interview him for my school project?

Dr. Levitin makes it a policy not to interfere in the training of other teachers’ students. The biggest piece of advice he has is this: “Choose a simple question and investigate it carefully and rigorously. Most students try to do too much in one project and they end up not doing it well. Science proceeds slowly, one small step at a time. Also: speak with your teacher about your idea as it develops – keep him or her in the loop so that when it is time to hand in your project, there won’t be any surprises.”

We regret that Dr. Levitin is unable to take time away from mentoring his own students to conduct interviews for student projects.

8. How might I arrange for a tour of your lab?

The Laboratory for Music Perception, Cognition and Expertise is an active laboratory with ongoing research and experiments. Because there isn’t a way to do lab tours without interrupting current experiments, it is our policy not to give tours.

9. Can I see Dr. Levitin for a medical consult?

Dr. Levitin is not performing medical consults at this time.

10. How can I participate in your research?

Information about participant recruiting can be found on the laboratory web page (http://daniellevitin.com/levitinlab/mediaplayer/subjects.htm)

11. Can I be the subject of a case study? I’ve had some experiences/symptoms that I think Dr. Levitin would want to study or find interesting.

We are not performing any case studies or studies of individuals at this time. Dr. Levitin’s research agenda is fully booked for the next several years with work that has been planned in advance.

12. I am interested in a career in neuroscience and music. Does Dr. Levitin have any advice for me?

Dr. Levitin advises: “An undergraduate major in Psychology, Cognitive Science or Neuroscience is a good start. For my own lab, I look for people who have had at least one year of undergraduate statistics, and one semester each of Calculus and Physics. Laboratory experience is also very important. It doesn’t matter what kind of laboratory – it can be social psychology, perception, even a mouse or rat laboratory. The important thing is to know how to follow scientific procedures, and what it’s like to do real research. The specifics related to neuroscience and music can come later. The idea is to learn how scientists think, and how they do their work.”

As an undergraduate, Dr. Levitin worked in a variety of different research laboratories, all of which he says gave him tremendously valuable experience: he worked in labs studying judgment and decision making (Amos Tversky), visual perception (Roger Shepard), language (Boaz Keysar & Herb Clark), memory (Gordon Bower), neuropsychology (Karl Pribram), and infant development (Anne Fernald).

13. I’m interested in graduate study with Dr. Levitin. 1. General info about graduate study with Dr. Levitin.

Dr. Levitin is always looking for bright graduate students. He would encourage you to apply to one of the following depending on your background:

and put him down as your preferred supervisor. In general, you should have an undergraduate degree in psychology, biology, neuroscience or computer science, and at least one year of undergraduate statistics. Previous laboratory experience is preferred. Dr. Levitin is not taking clinical psychology students at this time.

If you’re a Canadian citizen, we recommend that you simultaneously apply for CIHR, SSHRC or NSERC doctoral fellowships. If you’re a US citizen, apply to NIH and NSF. This way you could potentially enter grad school with your own grant which would set you well on your way to a career.

Funding for foreign students in Canada can be difficult, so if you are not from the US or Canada, at the same time you apply for admission, you should also apply to any granting agencies in your home country for pre-doctoral fellowships that you can take with you to Canada.

Finally, there are usually many more applicants than positions in the department (we sometimes get 30 applications and admit only one student), so we encourage you to apply to several different PhD programs just to hedge your bets.

2. I have applied to McGill University and listed Dr. Levitin as my preferred advisor. What is the status of my application?

It is our policy not to comment on the application status of individual students, but to allow them to receive notice through McGill’s admissions office.

More information here (http://www.mcgill.ca/applying/contact/)

3. I’m interested in post-doctoral study with Dr. Levitin.

If you have a Ph.D. in psychology or a related field, you can send your CV to dlevitin@ego.psych.ca. We currently do not have any funded post-doctoral openings, so post-doctoral fellows will need to have their own funding through an approved granting agency.

14. I’ve written a book or recorded music – can Dr. Levitin read it and provide feedback or a blurb for me?

We regret that Dr. Levitin’s schedule is fully booked with research, teaching and preparing his next book.

15. Where can I find reprints of Dr. Levitin’s academic papers?

You can find pdf versions of all Dr. Levitin’s academic papers ON THIS PAGE.

16. I am trying to learn more about music cognition beyond popular books. What academic titles do you most recommend?

Five excellent academic titles on music cognition are:

The Psychology of Music, Diana Deutsch, ed.

Music, Language, and the Brain, Aniruddh D. Patel

Music, Thought, and Feeling: Understanding the Psychology of Music, William Forde Thompson

Hearing in Time: Psychological Aspects of Musical Meter, Justin London

Musical Cognition: A Science of Listening, Henkjan Honing