Young Baycrest researcher and his co-principal investigators win GRAMMY Foundation Award

Dr. Bidelman

Dr. Bidelman

Toronto, April 9, 2012 – One of the Foundations for the world’s preeminent music awards has granted a young researcher at Baycrest’s Rotman Research Institute (RRI), and his co-principal investigators, with a prestigious GRAMMY Foundation® grant.

Dr. Gavin Bidelman, a postdoctoral fellow who studies the impact of musical training on the brain, was delighted with the news that he and his collaborators, RRI senior scientists Drs. Claude Alain and Sylvain Moreno, have been recognized for their contributions to advancing innovations in aging through the power of music. The GRAMMY Foundation works in partnership with its founder The Recording Academy® to bring national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education.

Dr. Bidelman was contacted in late March with the exciting news that his research project had been selected to receive a GRAMMY Foundation Grant valued at $17,250 U.S. The award will support a research project to investigate the potential benefits of music on speech processing in older adults.

“We are thrilled to receive the grant from the GRAMMY Foundation,” said Dr. Bidelman, 27. “Music has a powerful impact on the nervous system and holds many rehabilitative qualities. We are particularly interested in how musical training might tune the brain and help counteract some of the negative declines in speech perception that commonly emerge later in life.”

Baycrest is at the forefront of an emerging field in music and health research. The centre is involved in several cutting-edge music research projects and is part of a new Music and Health Research Collaboratory with southern Ontario universities and GTA hospitals, to be based at the University of Toronto.

A quick snapshot of music and health research projects underway at Baycrest:

  • Rotman scientists Drs. Takako Fujioka, Bernhard Ross and Deirdre Dawson are investigating the use of musical training (drum and keyboard playing) to help people who have suffered a stroke regain the use of their upper limbs
  • Dr. Fujioka and Dr. Laurel Trainor (McMaster University, adjunct scientist with the RRI) are conducting research that examines brain development and plasticity associated with musical rhythm processing and auditory-motor coupling.
  • Dr. Sylvain Moreno, lead scientist with Baycrest’s Centre for Brain Fitness, has developed a music-based, cognitive training computer game intervention that has delivered exciting results in boosting verbal IQ in young children after 20 days of classroom training.
  • Dr. Amy Clements-Cortes, practice advisor and senior music therapist, is leading a multi-phase research study with the Baycrest Community Day Centre for Seniors and the Baycrest Apotex Centre to measure the potential health benefits of being in a glee club. Dr. Clements-Cortes oversees the music therapy program at Baycrest where music is used as a therapeutic intervention for residents with dementia, complex physical and mental health issues and with palliative patients in the hospital and nursing home.

Baycrest is one of several research and academic institutes to receive GRAMMY Foundation grants this year. To view the entire list of recipients this year, go to – Click here for full list of GRAMMY Foundation grant recipients.

Headquartered on a 22-acre campus in Toronto and fully affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest is a global leader in developing and providing innovations in aging and brain health.

For more information on this press release, please contact:
Kelly Connelly
Senior Media Officer