Music and brain research are the two principal areas in which Dr. Martin F. Gardiner has trained and practiced. He has taught at New England Conservatory for many years, most recently with focus on musical sightreading. He is also a researcher at the Center for the Study of Human Development, Brown University, with special interests in the impact of music and other arts skill training on broader cognitive and emotional learning, and the organization of skills and skill learning in the brain.

Gardiner was educated at Columbia University (physics), Stanford University (electrical engineering), and the University of California, Los Angeles (brain research). His musical training includes work at these universities as well as at the Kodály Institute in Keskemedt, Hungary. Dr. Gardiner studies connections between musical and visual arts learning and broader academic, personal, and social learning. He was lead author of an article, published in the international science journal Nature, showing the impact of musical and visual arts training on broader learning.