I contact Niels because I wanted to hear more about his interesting musical analysis studies.
Niels has always been a talented musician, so he was very happy when he got accepted to Music Conservatory in Aarhus to study classical piano, but during his studies he understood that he doesn’t want to be a musical teacher. So after bachelor’s he started to study more music theory, and also he got second master’s called “MSc in Music, Mind and Brain” in London at Goldsmiths University. Niels was interested to combine musical psychology and brain studies.
In October 2012 Niels began his PhD in Aarhus, now he has basic studies in learning how music affects brain. I think this is so unique research, because Niels combines knowledge in music from composers’ side and from listeners’ side. He had different experiments in his work. For example, one of it was to give to listen some music pieces to jazz musicians, classical musicians and non-musicians. They had to describe their feelings. As Niels explained to me, our brain is looking for familiar things, like this it can predict future and to be prepared in case of danger. So it is interesting to see how brain reacts when we hear new musical compositions.
Though Niels’ research is basic and doesn’t have specific goal, but it can be useful, he studies how human brain works in general, how we see and process things.
Of course, I was curious about Niels’ future plans. He still have two years of studying but for what would happen afterwards he doesn’t want to think about, he thinks that it is important to live in the present and not to worry much about unknown future. But he wants to continue his research, for him music is a beautiful field to study, also Niels has his music band and he hopes it would be part of his life in years ahead.
P.S. For those who wants to know more about Niels’ research you can view his page on university website