The Kennedy Center

Sept 7-8

Music and the Mind: 
Shaping Our Children’s Lives Through Music Engagement

Two days of performance and discussions exploring how music impacts the developing brain, with a deeper focus on childhood development, featuring Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Renée Fleming, Jason Moran, Drs. Sanjay Gupta, John Iversen, Nina Kraus, Charles Limb, Laurel Trainor, and others.

Watch the Livestream



Music and the Mind: The Concert

Featuring Mickey Hart, Zakir Hussain, Jason Moran, Renée Fleming, and More

Friday, September 7, 2018 8:00 PM

Fresh from last year’s sold-out event, more of today’s most beloved and innovative artists join top neuroscientists for our next groundbreaking concert experience exploring links between music, rhythm, and brain development. Get Tickets


Say It With Rhythm!

A Performance Demo with Dr. Nina Kraus featuring Mickey Hart

Saturday, September 8, 2018 11:00 AM

In this lively discussion-demonstration, neuroscientists Dr. Nina Kraus and Dr. Adam Gazzaley are joined by legendary percussionist of the Grateful Dead Mickey Hart and tabla master Zakir Hussain to illustrate the art and science of these vital discoveries. You’ll witness first-hand examples of how music can strengthen rhythm skills for language, and how interactive computer interfaces can provide a new avenue for digital music medicine. Get Tickets


Take Note! Why Music Education Matters

A Panel Discussion Moderated by Renée Fleming

Saturday, September 8, 2018 2:00 PM

Moderated by the renowned soprano and Kennedy Center Artistic Advisor at Large, this panel of prominent researchers and educators will examine questions raised by research showing that early music training can shape the brain in powerful and lasting ways. Featuring a special performance by the Washington Performing Arts' Children of the Gospel Choir. Get Tickets


Learning and Bonding to the Beat

Optimizing Your Child’s Development with Dr. Laurel Trainor and Special Guests

Saturday, September 8, 2018 4:30 PM

In this discussion-demonstration, Dr. Trainor details how music and rhythms affect learning, and reveals the importance of rhythmic movements for optimal social development. She’s joined by Dr. Joanne Loewy, board certified music therapist, and others to be announced to use music, movement, and music therapy interventions with at-risk infants and children with disabilities. The session will feature a special performance by musicians of the DC Youth Orchestra.  Get Tickets


Interactive Rhythm Experience

Featuring Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart

Saturday, September 8, 2018 6:00 PM

Grab a drum - we'll have 400 percussion instruments onsite for audience members to borrow (limit one drum per person; first-come, first-served) and join Mickey Hart, supported by Jonathan Murray of FunDrum Rhythm Circles. Following an introduction by neuroscientist Dr. John Iversen, Mickey will take center stage to guide the entire audience through call-and-response games, lively performances, and interactive demonstration. The first 200 participants will receive a commemorative REMO drum – yours to keep as a memento. Free Event, Learn More


The Art of the Spark

Musical Creativity Explored with Dr. Charles Limb and Special Guests

Saturday, September 8, 2018 8:00 PM

Top neuroscientist Dr. Charles Limb and special guest performers to be announced will demonstrate how encouraging and developing musical improvisational skills in children has led to a better understanding for how creativity is implemented in the human brain. This year, he’ll be joined by Kennedy Center Artistic Director of Jazz Jason Moran, Freestyle Love Supreme co-founder Anthony Veneziale, music therapist Ed Roth, and jazz piano prodigy Matthew Whitaker to help demonstrate! Get Tickets

Second Saturdays Workshops at
Sound Health: Music and the Mind 


Second Saturdays—Arts on the Horizon

Saturday, September 8, 2018 9:30 AM
Ages 0 to 2

Join Arts on the Horizon—a professional, non-profit theatre company—for a free workshop designed for families with children that explores the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. More Information


Second Saturdays—Wolf Trap

Saturday, September 8, 2018 11:30 AM
Ages 2 to 6

Wolf Trap Master Teaching Artist Terlene D. Terry-Todd on a trip to the sunny West Indies, a journey full of songs, dances and stories. You and your family will take an imaginary voyage to the seashore and a Caribbean market place while exploring props and costumes which bring songs and dances from the Caribbean to life. More Information


Second Saturdays—Sitar Arts Center

Saturday, September 8, 2018 2:30 PM
Ages 6 to 9

Join Sitar Arts Center for a free workshop designed for families with children that explores the power of the arts to promote wellness of the mind and body. More Information


Second Saturdays—Step Afrika!

Saturday, September 8, 2018 4:30 PM
Ages 9 and Up

Step Afrika!’s workshop will introduce participants to the basic elements of stepping and using the body as an instrument. Participants will also create a “step team” while learning choreography together. More Information

Support for Sound Health is provided by The Music Man Foundation.

Sound Health is also presented as part of The Irene Pollin Audience Development and Community Engagement Initiatives