Language & Music Cognition group organises musical experiments for children

As a university, we not only teach students or conduct research, we also want to share knowledge and insights. That is why PhD students Charlotte and Marcel from the Language & Music Cognition group recently traveled to Zutphen, to host activities at the Expedition NEXT science festival. The event is dedicated to enthusing children about science. This year more than 6000 children attended.

Under the theme ‘Before we can teach computers about music, we would like to know what is important to us as humans when we listen to music’, the team set up interactive musical experiments.

Children had the chance to participate individually or in groups in ‘Toon Tweelingen’ (also known as ‘TuneTwins’ from the Amsterdam Music Lab). It's a musical memory game designed to answer important scientific questions about what we listen to when we hear music. 

For those who wanted to go a step further, there was a more difficult experiment based on the ‘Hooked on Music’ game, focusing on what makes songs recognisable and how we remember music in the long term.

These activities were also made possible by the MUSCLE team's platform, which made it relatively easy to set up the experiments and tailor them to the target audience by using snippets of popular music from the Kids Top 20 and songs like ‘Poesje Mauw' (old Dutch children's song).

The event provided a learning interaction too, with some children surprising the researchers with their extensive knowledge of AI and others enthusiastically sharing their insights into music and artists.

Red more about the Music Cognition Group