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NPR: It’s Not Too Late To Learn Music

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NPR: It’s Not Too Late To Learn Music

I most often listen to music when driving, but occasionally I’ll check out NPR….especially when I’ve been singing a ton.  I would rather hear talking than music.   There was a professor of psychology from NYU talking about his new book.  It’s called…

Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning

Gary Marcus talks about attending band camp with a bunch of 11 year-olds.  One of the stark differences he noticed between when kids learn verses adults learn is that kids have patience and are basically kinder to themselves.  I see this all time with my students.  My younger students will play or sing something.  It may not be what they hoped it would sound like, but they will immediately try it again without beating themselves up or passing judgement on their performance.  No time is lost in the learning process.  I SO wish my older students would incorporate this behavior.  Not only is it a more enjoyable way to learn but it wastes a lot less time.

For many of my adult students, I work on confidence building and feeling confident about their musical skills.  Confidence means that making a mistake doesn’t actually effect the perception of talent.  What a beautiful thing!! Kids have this.  They aren’t so jaded to think that they have to get it right the first or even 10th time simply because they’ve been on this planet longer.

Mr. Marcus has other insights and observations but this one I’ve found most adults struggle with.  They already have an idea of what they should sound like even before they play or sing one note.  So when the note comes out unlike how they heard it in their brain…it’s immediate defeat.  Such a tragedy.  There is so much enjoyment to be had in between what is in the head and what comes out of the instrument.

Link to Amazon Book

NPR Story

 

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