Musicians: Born or made? 
Scientific workshop on Music and Talent. Followed by a free concert-conference at the Salle Claude Champagne (Université de Montréal)


Pavillon Lionel Groulx, Carrefour des arts et sciences - C-3061, CA, 3150 Jean-Brillant, Université de Montréal, Montréal, Québec, CA

The role of natural endowment and hard work in musical performance is one of the oldest and most contentious issue in both science and society. Up to the 20th century, innate talent was associated to musicianship. Over the last century, the prevalent view has been that intensive practice is key. The goal of this workshop is to examine whether music practice can account for individual differences in musical abilities or if we should also acknowledge the importance of innate predispositions.

 Workshop Program

9:30 am -

Coffee and muffins

10:00 am -

Isabelle Peretz (Université de Montréal). Introduction to the workshop

10:30 am -

Françoys Gagné (UQAM). “Musicians are 'born' in many more ways than commonly thought”

11:00 am -

Laurent Mottron (Université de Montréal). “Veridical mapping in the development of exceptional autistic abilities”

11:30 am -

Joanne Ruthsatz (Ohio State University). “Becoming an expert in the musical domain: It takes more than just practice”

12:00 pm -

Lunch break (numerous cafés and restaurants are available in nearby Cote-des-Neiges)

1:15 pm -

Caroline Palmer (McGill University). “Practice is not everything”

1:45 pm -

Robert Zatorre (McGill University). “Predispositions and plasticity in musical skills: Evidence from brain imaging

2:15 pm -

Larisa Shavinina (Université du Québec en Outaouais). “On the Nature of Giftedness”



The workshop is open to the academic community. Registration for the workshop is mandatory.

Please register online:



The workshop is to be followed by a free concert-conference to be held at Salle Claude Champagne, Université de Montréal, with piano performance by young virtuoso Tiffany Poon and lectures by Gary McPherson (University of Melbourne) and Danick Trottier (Université de Montréal).

The concert conference will start at 4pm, Salle Claude Champagne, Université de Montréal.
It is free and open to all. No registration required.

For further details about the workshop:

For further details about the concert-conference:


Contact: info [at] brams [dot] umontreal [dot] ca (info [at] brams [dot] umontreal [dot] ca)

 This event is jointly organized by the CRBLM (Centre for Research on Brain, Language and Music) and OICRM (Observatoire interdisciplinaire de création et de recherche en musique)