This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
Excerpts from an article in the May/June 2007 issue of Making Music Magazine
about Daniel Levitin ...
Associate professor in the McGill University Department of Psychology, Coginition, and Expertise, and author of the best seller This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
The release of mood-altering neurochemicals is one explanation for why
some 90% to 95% of people enjoy music and why some react very strongly to it.
Because music has such deep human roots, it is ubiquitous in all societies. The ability to play and appreciate music is hard-wired into most of us, a fact that should please amateur musicians.
"Everyone is a musical expert and has an exquisite sensitivity to musical structure", observes Levitin. "Even a six-year-old can tell if a musical note is out of tune or a chord out of order. The division between musical experts and the rest of us was unknown in human history until the last few hundred years."Consolidating Game
Levitin has even better news. "Amateur musicians also need to know that practice really works
. That is, what I call 'deliberate practice' ". By that he means learning a piece methodically, chopping it into bite-sized bits, fixing mistakes, and doing this consistently. In fact, Levitin says as little as five minutes a day of deliberate practice works better than two hours every few days because of a brain phenomenon called "consolidation".
"After learning something", explains Levitin, "the neural circuits consolidate information. They do this in a biorhythmic way, so you must give your brain time to absorb information. The phrase 'sleep on it' is true: your brain consolidates while you sleep."
Daniel Levitin's web site can be found here... www.YourBrainOnMusic.com
His book This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession
is available on Amazon.com
Making Music Magazine has a web site here... www.MakingMusicMag.com
The article in Making Music is two pages long, I only excerpted a few paragraphs I thought you might find interesting. - Frank B.