Post by Dick Letts, August 13th, 2014
Really?!! All that was happening in my head when I was practising the flute?
And I thought I was just breathing and blowing. And enjoying the tunes.
Have you looked at that great animation on the Music Trust website? (Like where? OK, it’s under education research.) “How playing an instrument benefits your brain.”
I’ve always wondered, looking at my parents, why I am such a genius. Now I know. Durr, but at least they were smart enough to send me for lessons. Of course, they wanted cello, I chose flute. Who knows, on cello I might have been a super-genius. But sucking all that air in can’t have been bad for me.
Here in Victoria, the schools don’t give instrument lessons until secondary school. By then, it’s a bit late. Fortunately (though who knew it?) my olds could pay for lessons so I was able to start when I was 6. Not a real silver flute but what did I know? Unfortunately, a lot of kids’ parents don’t have money or have no idea about music lessons so they have to wait and get lucky when they go to high school.
What I found really interesting in that video is that they found that when you play an instrument the whole brain lights up. “Playing engages every area of the brain.” That might be why no sooner I had started playing than I got hungry or needed to do Facebook or wash the dog or anything, really. But hang in there, because band is coming up in a couple of days and I want to be hot at band practice.
The video takes it a bit more seriously. For instance, brain functions in the “visual, auditory and motor” areas are all motoring along at the same time. The two hemispheres are talking to each other. It’s electron paradise up there. Learn the violin and you’ll wake up the next morning having invented string theory in your sleep. It also helps memory so you will still remember the theory at lunchtime though it might be a bit shaky mid-afternoon.
Our glorious leaders, do they know all this? Then, why don’t they do something about it, give everyone lessons before it’s too late? If they don’t know, why not? We’ve been at them for years. They don’t lead and they don’t follow a simple argument.
Well, they never had instrument lessons, that’s obvious.