Wednesday, March 12, 2008

News Flash: Musicians ARE Different

I'm starting to think it's a little too late for me to become a young genius, so I'm setting my sights on helping "more mature" people learn faster. Some of this relates to my selfish desire to accelerate my own learning, because I don't feel I have the kind of time I used to have to practice, and life is too short to stay a beginner in the dance world.

I've had discussions with many people about musicians, dancing, and learning, and how they all relate. I’ve also had a life-long fascination with accelerated learning in adults, and how the best teachers pass more to their students.

Recently, someone passed me a link to a show on brain functioning, learning and genius as it relates to music. It compares and contrasts “gifted” brains compared to “normal” people. It also outlines some of the issues related to being a young genius.

It's about 45 years too late for me to directly use this material, but I still find things we can apply as adults. If we don't practice, if we don't continue to grow, we eliminate our chances of being the best we can be. This applies to dancing, music, our jobs and our social relationships.

Learning never stops (or it shouldn't), and it's interesting to see what scientists are learning about being a young genius. "Use it or lose it" still applies to learning after a few decades or more, and there are many other insights we can apply. I've read other studies showing we CAN grow intellectually stronger as we age, but it requires some concentrated effort.

Over the years, I’ve read quite a few books on brain functioning and learning, and this show is very interesting. It’s a long show (47 minutes), but if you enjoy learning about learning, you’ll find this worth your time.

Check it out and let me know what you think.

My Brilliant Brain - Born Genius

Technical note: This is the first time I'm embedding a Google video in my blog. I'm not seeing it when I view the blog, so I'm including the link below and I'll probably remove the link once the embedded version is working above:

There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving,
and that's your own self.
-Aldous Huxley


  1. Its interesting that you mention this. I had read a book called "The Brain That Changes Itself" by Norman Doidge, MD. Its about neuroplasticity - how the brain can change and develop new neuropathways even late in life or after terrible injury. It was that book that made me believe that I could learn to dance at 45 - I just had to teach my brain. It might take me longer, but it is happening! The fact that I learned to be a musician as a child doesn't hurt, I'm sure.

  2. I've read similar things where current research is saying we can continue to develop new brain power later in life.

    It's amazing what can happen when we try.


I love feedback. Your thoughts, feelings and comments are appreciated. Civil disagreements and other points of view are always welcomed!

Feel free to send me private mail if appropriate.

Don Baarns - Unlikely Salsero