Day 16

8 Mar

I reviewed the melodies with the CD and I added a new page. P. 23.

I played the slow and fast versions up to P. 16.

Hal Leonard’s CD includes two speeds of some of the songs so when you get better at them you can try to play a bit more up-tempo. I actually like speeding it up. In terms of how I did…not too bad for my recent lack of practice but I needs to be more regular in the future so the regular brain building effects takes place.

Look at this study about the benefits of learning to play an instrument.

(check out the other links on this page as well)

Yes, but so what? HOW does music build a better brain?

Our brains are composed of Grey Matter, nerve fibres, or Neurones which carry electrical messages and White Matter or Myelin, which is a special insulating fat.  Myelin helps electrical impulses to travel fast and stops the electricity from leaking out of the neurones.

Myelin is therefore crucial to learning.  EVERY time a nerve is fired, for ANY reason, little fat producing cells, called Oligodendrocytes, wrap themselves round the neurones and leave behind a microscopic layer of fat.  With repeated firing, the fat layer round the nerve becomes thicker and thicker, till the little neural pathway has been transformed into a super, high speed highway.

Warning!  More myelin is wrapped round EVERY neural circuit EVERY time it fires, even if it causing you to play a wrong note or have a negative thought.  Only disease and ageing can cause it to break down.  It is a sobering fact, that you can’t dismantle a “wrong” myelinated skill; you have to build a “correct” replacement highway, which is miles better than the old one.  As you can imagine, this takes a lot of doing.  So, when learning any skill, it will save you a lot of time, energy and heartache if you stop and prepare carefully before acting.

It’s not just an accident that Suzuki stated that “Knowledge is not a skill.  Knowledge plus 10,000 repetitions is a skill.”  So, Music builds a better brain, does it?  Not unless the 10,000 repetitions are correct!


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