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Home LJS Podcast Get help with practicing jazz LJS 131: The Neuroscience Behind Radical Musical Improvement (Feat. Marc Gelfo)

LJS 131: The Neuroscience Behind Radical Musical Improvement (Feat. Marc Gelfo)

Welcome to episode 131 of the LJS Podcast where today we have on special guest Marc Gelfo to talk about neuroscience and the music learning process. Marc calls himself a neuro-symphonic french hornist, and he’s the CEO of the Modacity practice platform. He talks all about the power of neuroscience and music. Listen in!

Listen to episode 131

Today’s episode is unique from any other topic I’ve covered on this show. It’s a good one, so be prepared to have your mind blown.

When was the last time you thought about neuroscience and your musical improvement? I bet you haven’t.

That’s why I have on special guest Marc Gelfo to talk all about neuroscience and how understanding this better can inform our musical success.

Marc’s passion for neuroscience and music influenced the way he views practicing. So much so that he’s created a practicing app called Modacity. We talk a bit about this tool as well, and I’d encourage you to check it out.

Here’s what we talk about in this episode:

1. Why Marc calls himself a neuro-symphonic french hornist.

2. Why neuroscience is important for musicians to understand.

3. Cognition and how it’s not just in the brain.

4. The facts and fiction about muscle memory.

5. What it takes to master musical information.

6. The importance of learning music for mind and body.

7. Modacity and how it can help you effectively practice.

I think understanding this stuff gives us a huge advantage. A special thanks to Marc for helping me learn so much in this episode, and I know you’re going to learn a lot too.

Have any comments on today’s episode or something to add? Leave a comment below.

Important Notes

Modacity practice platform

Brent Vaartstra
Brent Vaartstra is a professional jazz guitarist and educator living in New York City. He is the head blogger and podcast host for which he owns and operates. He actively performs around the New York metropolitan area and is the author of the Hal Leonard publication "Visual Improvisation for Jazz Guitar." He's also the host of the music entrepreneurship podcast "Passive Income Musician."


  1. Hi Brent, That podcast was enlightening. Hacking the flow has the potential to be life changing. I want to learn more about this. What was the name of the book Marc recommended?
    I enjoy all the podcast but this one just might be my favorite. Appreciate all that you are doing.

  2. Hi Brent,

    Great podcast, got me interested in using the software along with your 30 Steps course. FYI the link isn't working at present.



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