Archives for 4 Nov,2007

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I’ve been “reading” the great new book by Daniel Levitin called This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession. The book examines scientific observations about how music affects our brains and vice versa. It’s especially fascinating for music teachers.

I recommend it very highly, though not the way I’m trying to “read” it, which is by listening to it. My new mp3 player came with a free month of Audible.com so I chose this book, but I found it pretty hard to follow a nonfiction book read out loud. No chance to flip back a few pages and reread a few key points. (And don’t dare daydream or you miss a page!)

I’d like to mention here just a few interesting points raised in the book–about practicing, ear training, and the effect of music lessons on brain development. I hope to refer again to this book in some future blog posts as well.

Practicing

Levitin describes an experiment where researchers tried to define “talent.”  They examined music students who were regarded as most talented, and invariably found that those students who were the best musicians [···]

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