Colorado Symphony conductor: Train your whole brain to experience music

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(Photo: Courtesy of the Colorado Symphony via YouTube)
<p>Scott O&#039;Neil, resident conductor with the Colorado Symphony, is fascinated by the ways in which musicians use their whole brains to compose and experience music. </p>

Photo: Colorado Symphony Resident Conductor Scott O'NeilHow does music affect the brain? And how can training the brain affect people's experience of music?

Colorado Symphony Resident Conductor Scott O'Neil explored these questions with audience members at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art as part of the museum series "Your Brain on Art."

Good composers, O'Neil said, use their left and right brains to write music.

So, how much of your brain do you use when you listen to music?

O'Neil believes you can train yourself to use more.

He used the classic song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to demonstrate how composers set up expectations for listeners' brains -- and then how they satisfy and sometimes conflict with those expectations.