Healing through Music - Music education and psycho-cognitive development


Institutional Communication Service

7 November 2022

Like with language, most people acquire basic musical skills by interacting with the environment: through simple exposure to music and innate predisposition. Children acquire the musical skills they need for formal music training during development. Music and language share functions and associations. Much evidence suggests that music education has a positive effect. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses are beginning to appear in the scientific literature showing causal relationships between music and non-musical areas like language, cognition and performance. We can think of music as one of the cognitive tools essential for healthy ageing.


  • Luisa Lopez, doctor and neurophysiopathologist at the Villa Immacolata Care Home


  • Dawn Rose, senior researcher, Hochschule Luzern


  • Giacomo Simonetti, USI professor, head of paediatrics at the Italian Swiss Paediatric Institute


Luisa Lopez 

Currently Medical Director at the Outpatient Clinic for Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry at the “Villa Immacolata” Care Home in Viterbo. Since 2000, she has also been a scientific consultant for the Mariani Foundation's Neuroscience and Music project. She is a university lecturer for the Child and Adolescent Neuropsychiatry course at Rome’s Tor Vergata University. She is also Scientific Director of the Oltre Music Therapy Training School in Rome and is a trainer for the Italian Dyslexia Association.


Dawn Rose

Her musical background (as a professional drummer, teacher and performer) has influenced her research interests in the psychology of music and movement. Dawn completed a master's degree in Music, Mind and Brain at Goldsmiths College, University of London where she also earned a doctorate. She is currently a researcher at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts, studying the well-being of musicians and exploring the use of music to help mood and movement in sufferers of Parkinson's disease.


Giacomo Simonetti  

He graduated from the Bern Faculty of Medicine in 1999. He trained in paediatrics and paediatric nephrology at the University Paediatric Hospital in Bern and at the University Paediatric Hospital in Heidelberg, Germany. In 2005 he became a paediatric specialist, with a sub-speciality in paediatric nephrology in 2008. From 2010 to 2014 he was head of the  Paediatric Nephrology Department at the University Paediatric Hospital in Bern and since 2017 has been a tenured professor of paediatrics at USI.  


Music programme

One study, one summary for marimba, junk percussion and digital audio - John Psathas (1966*)
Performed by: Gaspare Renna (marimba) and Danilo Gervasoni (live electronics)


Find the complete course programme here