Are you left-brain dominant or right-brain dominant?

May 25, 2011 at 10:10 PM ·

Instinctively I'd like to think that musicians are right-brain dominant, but to be able to play violin well, one must have great problem solving skills (unless you are a natural). So I'd like to find out how violinists process information (so this is not about left-handed or right-handed). I don't know how scientific these quizzes are, but just for fun, it would be great if you can take the quizzes and report back the results. Thanks!


Replies (46)

May 26, 2011 at 12:16 AM ·

I scored LB8/RB6 and LB9/RB9.

So, both?

Do I get a sticker now?


May 26, 2011 at 12:19 AM ·

Smiley or gold star?:)

May 26, 2011 at 12:27 AM ·

I got Left 8 / Right 9 for the first quiz, and a 9-9 tie with left dominating for the second.

I have no idea what this means, so I don't know how I should vote.

Maybe someone can tell me what this means, though:  no matter how many of these tests I take, I can never remember which is supposed to be the analytical side and which is supposed to be the artistic side.  Maybe that's a clue as to what kind of brain I have...

May 26, 2011 at 12:28 AM ·

Cat sticker.



EDIT:  "Cat sticker" does not refer to Bruce's brain!

May 26, 2011 at 12:36 AM ·

I scored 6/7 and 7/11; I guess I am both sides dominate, arguing over who leads at any given time.

I also know at some time, my brain is not dominant; in fact, at times it is barely even functioning.

May 26, 2011 at 12:57 AM ·

Thanks for the clarification, Anne. 

May 26, 2011 at 01:29 AM ·

What puzzles me is that, supposedly, a right-handed person's left lobe is more developed than the right and vice versa. However, otherwise right-handed violinists/violists/cellists use their left hand with more facility than the right one which, for the most part, remains passive as compared to the left hand.

Maybe, the psychologists among the community can shed some light on this.

May 26, 2011 at 01:39 AM ·


  I took a test with a neuropsychologist a few years ago.  I wanted to be sure I was "normal" and learn how to work better with my brain etc. 

I am like just 4% of the population!      (not on IQ... I have just a slightly over average IQ according to a test : (    116 if I remember well?  In the 115 to 120 range that I'm sure.  but it was for the way of pressessing the info.  So I process the info in my head like just 4% of the population. 

I'm so mixed between the two hemispheres that I take slightly more time than average to solve a problem.  I try to solve it with too many ways at the same time at first and them click on what I have to do.

That is a con...


But a pro is that I can be very "multitask" clever because of that and integrate things.   But I probably never will be a good specialist.  Just a good generalist.  My brain is generalist in the way it works... That's what the neuropsychologist found out.  


I'm not sad about what she found because violin is a very "multitask" activity. 

I"ve decided to embrace my generalist brain and so far it has given better results than to fight it. 

May 26, 2011 at 02:11 AM ·

"What puzzles me is that, supposedly, a right-handed person's left lobe is more developed than the right and vice versa. However, otherwise right-handed violinists/violists/cellists use their left hand with more facility than the right one which, for the most part, remains passive as compared to the left hand."

Nope nope NO NO NO!  The right hand is NOT passive! The right hand is EVERYTHING to the sound production! the left hand does the easy job. Really, it's true!

May 26, 2011 at 02:19 AM ·

And it's a bit more complicated than just a dominant hand...

We also have a dominant eye and that can reveal things too.  (especially on the way we move)


I am right handed but left eye dominant.  And, according to some medical litterature,  these people often tend to have both hemispheres equally "active" or even very mixed up (that's my case). 

The dominant eye is also very important for the way we move and think.  It's very important for hand/eye coordination etc. 

So I guess dominant eye must have a role in violin...  (even if not studied)

May 26, 2011 at 02:27 AM ·

If you are a leftie and you use maths everyday, I think that makes you bi. I know I am.

May 26, 2011 at 02:31 AM ·

My results from the first test. I'm actually ambidextrous.  I write with my left hand but do everything sports related (baseball, hockey, golf, tennis etc) right handed.:
Left Brain Dominance: 9(9)
Right Brain Dominance: 9(9)

May 26, 2011 at 03:39 AM ·

 I'm left-handed, so I guess I'm in my right mind? But I'm not entirely sure!

May 26, 2011 at 07:50 AM ·

The first test, based on (L/R), gave me 5/7, but the second test gave me 0/18. I guess I'm just special. :D

May 26, 2011 at 08:14 AM ·

First test: left 8, right 7.

Second test: left 9, right 9. According to the Hemispheric Dominance Test, I use my left brain the most, they write.

I must be ambi-somethingorother.


May 26, 2011 at 08:52 AM ·

7/10 and 6/12 

Apparently I'm strongly R brain dominan - which is why I have to do arts as well as science I guess.  Is that why my bow hand is more work than my fingering :)  Its also why I can never find my rosin I guess... (with guess the active process!)

May 26, 2011 at 08:53 AM ·

I was pretty split, but leaning toward the right.  You really need to be able to access your entire brain in order to tackle the pursuit of the violin.  Otherwise, it's like fighting with one hand tied behind your back.

May 26, 2011 at 11:24 AM ·

well, why am I learning the violin and loving it if I am Left dominant with my brain????

I scored in first test L11/R8

second test L13/R5


I 'control feelings' (that's what the test results say) prefer multiple choice questions to open questions in tests, dislike drawing and reading and do not follow 'hunches' but only logical reasons/explanations LOL LOL LOL

I better retire from the violin 'career' then ;) HAHAHAHA I knew there was a reason why I am not good at it ;)

May 26, 2011 at 12:24 PM ·

Hello All,

My results where:

Left Brain Dominance: 12(12)
Right Brain Dominance: 7(7)

Second Test: R B-8     LB-10

Have a good day everyone!

Ana Ottenwalder


May 26, 2011 at 04:40 PM ·

I came out almost dead even between left and right.

I'm wondering maybe if it's because I used to be left-handed, but was forced to use my right hand in school.

---Ann Marie

May 26, 2011 at 06:02 PM ·

First test: L 5, R 11.  Second, L 5, R 13.  I guess that's pretty clear-cut.

Physically, I'm definitely in the mixed dominance/ambidextrous camp.

Anne-Marie, i've been told that people with the dominant eye and hand on opposite sides are the ones who are always walking into things and tripping over the stripes in the carpet.  True for you?

May 26, 2011 at 06:32 PM ·

Here is the interesting part, in the second questionnaire everyone that posted answered the 18 questions, but in the first questionnaire no one even scored more than a total of 20 from the 32 questions. What does that indicate? Left and right side conflict, indecision or questions that has no relevance to Brain side domination?

May 26, 2011 at 06:46 PM ·

Yes, Lisa I am the epitomy of a clod.  I once took out an entire row of music stands before a concert (one of them snagged on my sweater and it was the domino effect). 

Also, I break everything I touch....which is why I play on carbon fiber instruments.  They're built like tanks.  Perfect for someone like me.

---Ann Marie

May 26, 2011 at 07:46 PM ·

Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz
The higher of these two numbers below indicates which side of your brain has dominance in your life. Realising your right brain/left brain tendancy will help you interact with and to understand others.
Left Brain Dominance: 10(10)
Right Brain Dominance: 12(12)
Right Brain/ Left Brain Quiz

Good, isn't it?

May 26, 2011 at 08:02 PM ·

Lisa, absoluntly!!!  I'm very clumbsy...

I have bad coordination in addition.  People tell I'm very funny when I come down the stairs.  I have never noticed it myself but they all say this...

I have often made fell items from shelves at the store, or knock down my neighbour's pencil case at school etc...  Bump into people accidentally.  etc


May 26, 2011 at 08:22 PM ·

Andre: Here is the interesting part, in the second questionnaire everyone that posted answered the 18 questions, but in the first questionnaire no one even scored more than a total of 20 from the 32 questions. What does that indicate? Left and right side conflict, indecision or questions that has no relevance to Brain side domination?

I think it means the person that made the test is right brained and can't count, well not in numbers anyway... perhaps in auras?

Oh, and let me guess, you are Left brained? :)

May 26, 2011 at 09:09 PM ·

Elise I have always been good with numbers, what ever that means. But I am not very artistic. I can remember historical facts very well, but I cannot memorize a poem or those blasted black dots on a page of classical music. Maybe you can just call me a mixed-up kid with mid-brain dominance. 

Anne-Marie you are absoluntly not clumbsy, your french is adorable.

May 26, 2011 at 10:49 PM ·

Sorry for not having a 3rd option for "Whole brain/bilateral", but if I edit the poll now, the votes would reset...

I'm aware that the concept of  right-brain/left-brain functions is controversial, but I started this thread just for fun, so please don't take it too seriously... If you want to find out more, here is one of those myth-buster articles:

Speaking of stickers - I participated in the 100-day Practice Challenge at my teacher's studio, but the stickers that we were supposed to put on the scoreboard when we met our weekly goals were ridden with superlatives such as "Great job!",  "You rock!", "Excellent!" that made me blush! I yearn for something more apt, such as  "You suck less"...  Anyone know where to get those? :)

May 27, 2011 at 01:49 AM ·

Joyce,  "you suck less" ... that made my day! 

Andre, thanks.  It's adorable from you to write that too!  It's actually even more funny when I speak in English.  Have a big accent : (       

May 27, 2011 at 05:01 AM ·


If you calculate the number of answers, and measure against the responses, does that make you left brain?

I think there may be some neutral answers, and they don't score on either side. If there are two things being measured, four answers to a question, it may be two options are neutral, one is for either value. It could even be that three are neutral, and only one will provide a value for one of the two.

Now calculate how many possible answer combinations lead to a zero score...

May 27, 2011 at 09:34 AM ·

...nother left brainer... we're definitely in the minority, not that I'm counting or anything....

May 27, 2011 at 10:35 AM ·

wait a mo, I just noticed that there has beena recent surge in R brainers to the stats - we knew what to vote insantly but it probably took us a while to figure out exactly how....

May 27, 2011 at 06:38 PM ·

My results were L11, R8 on the first test; L11, R7 on the second.  That makes sense; I was your typical high school science nerd, and I've been a professional computer programmer for 40 years.  But the right brain is alive and kicking - when I look at a complicated problem I'll often defocus and let a gestalt form in my mind.  And my left brain can be dissecting a piece of music while my right brain is blubbering over it.

As for "you suck less" stickers, that reminds me of a piece of musical philosophy I once put forth.  As I become better at playing, I take on increasingly difficult pieces - which means that I'm always struggling with whatever I'm playing.  Given that even virtuosos can be unhappy with their performance of a difficult piece, I've come to the conclusion that we all suck - we just suck at different levels.  However, when I mentioned this at a workshop, the instructor looked at me and said, "You're one of those glass-half-empty people, aren't you?"  I've been a little hesitant to mention it since.

May 27, 2011 at 08:06 PM ·

 I was totally all left-brain on the first test and a mix on the second one but personally I´d say I´m more left-brained person as I´m terrible at math and not very analytical.

May 28, 2011 at 02:22 PM ·

i got right brain dominant on both quizes but im right handed  and right eye dominant xD

(L 8 R13 for the first one L 4 R 14 for the second one)

May 28, 2011 at 02:36 PM ·

Ishijah this proves that you are also dyslexic. Dyselcixs of the world untie.

May 28, 2011 at 05:00 PM ·

10 left, 8 right.

I believe Heifetz had these exact numbers too.  ha.

May 28, 2011 at 07:25 PM ·

Actually Jack, Heifetz was always right.

May 28, 2011 at 09:10 PM ·

1º Test

L6 R8


2º Test

L10 R8

There isn't a button for a tie? hum 16 - 16

May 30, 2011 at 01:31 PM ·

On test 1 I scored 9/9. I had more issues with test 2 as on some questions, my answer would have been "neither" or "both". When I left them blank, the test "said" I had to answer every question, and I refused and let the whole test go. I suppose that says something about my personality!

May 30, 2011 at 04:24 PM ·

I took the tests when this post first appeared but didn't respond.  It was interesting to see what others said.

Raphael, like you I felt like saying both/neither to some of the questions on both tests.  One of the tests did let me leave an answer blank.

On both tests I was a tiny bit to the right-brain side.  I was happy to see Emily's comment about how violinists need both sides.

I am not ambidextrous but sometimes my brain works like a leftie--an art teacher I had once looked at my drawings and asked if I was left-handed because my perspective was that of a leftie.   (I'm right handed.)  I'm also physically a bit clumsy, fwiw.

May 31, 2011 at 12:16 AM ·

Well, that's consistent. One of each!

12/9 to the left in the first one, and 11/7 to the right in the second.

I have noticed some correlations between "normal" life and musicians in general - especially looking at the day jobs of good amateur players. A preponderance of engineers and doctors. That also ties in with what I found at university. The student orchestras were a majority of engineers with medics second when i started, but then the medics overtook us. The same now goes with our local amateur orchestra - we probably have more doctors at rehearsal than the local hospital has on duty.

August 24, 2011 at 07:31 PM ·

Left Brain-9  Right Brain-7    -M

August 24, 2011 at 07:36 PM ·

The second test I was 9 Left & 9 Right that still made me a "leftie"   -M

August 24, 2011 at 08:00 PM ·

 Left=7 right =8 on the first assessment tool, which feels about right.

On the second one, it didn't matter which answers I ticked, it always came out 18 left 0 right, whether I did all one way, all the other, mixed them, or whatever.  Either it's rigged, or my computer and the test didn't speak well to each other.

August 24, 2011 at 09:20 PM ·

 The same thing happened to me.

On the first test, I was L: 5 R:12 but on the second, I scored L:18 R:0.  I think there might be a glitch...that or I was pretending to be my husband.

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition
ArmSymphony AI Violin Competition

Find a Summer Music Program
Find a Summer Music Program Business Directory Business Directory

AVIVA Young Artist Program

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin



Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine