Skip to content

{ Category Archives } cognition

Better learning from practice that better engages our cognitive practices

Here are some practice tips from one of my favorite teachers, Polly van der Linde (who runs the Sonata and Sonatina piano camps for adults and kids in Bennington Vermont). These are winners, precisely because they engage deep processing of the sort that cognitive scientists have been showing in recent decades is so important for […]

Feeling better about practice: the peak-end rule

Kahneman and Tversky, in their many studies of cognitive biases, discovered the “peak-end rule”: our emotional memories off experiences are disproportionately affected by the end of the experience. For example, they had subjects submerge their hands in painfully cold water for 30 seconds, then another time but with an additional 15 seconds added, but at […]

Tagged , ,

The Bulletproof Musician

Just discovered this site — seems to have a wealth of useful advice and wisdom. Primary focus on helping musicians deal with performance anxiety, and also on more effective practice. But lots of other areas of advice as well. The Bulletproof Musician   Posted with Blogsy

Why and how to make better practice with “random” practice schedules

A plausible argument (with some research, though mostly not about music practice) for using random rather than blocked (massed) practice. “Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight.”   Posted with Blogsy

pitch == rhythm

Duality is concept that was crucial — and somewhat magical — in my training as an economist.  I first encountered it when I learned linear programming, and then in my microeconomic theory classes, with the duality at the heart of the theory of optimizing behavior by both individuals and firms. So now I’m kicking myself […]

Acquired musical savant syndrome

There’s a story on “Snap Judgment” on NPR about Derek Amato, who on his 40th birthday dove into shallow end of a pool, hit his head, had a concussion. Afterwards, he could suddenly play the piano, at a very high level, after never playing before. Amato was diagnosed with “acquired musical savant syndrome”, and with […]

Even a few years of music training benefits the brain

From Scientific American: Scientific evidence suggests that even a little music training when we’re young can shape how brains develop, improving the ability to differentiate sounds and speech. Christie Wilcox, “Even a few years of music training benefits the brain“, 21 August 2012

When is mood music good for you?

Based on a recent scholarly article, “Should People Pursue Feelings That Feel Good or Feelings That Do Good? Emotional Preferences and Well-Being,” an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education that discusses whether angry moods are sometimes good for us, and how music that induces different moods might affect our performance (in non-musical activities) in […]

Music as language

Various podcasts (60 mins total) from Radiolab, addressing music as language: “What is music? Why does it move us? How does the brain process sound, and why are some people better at it than others?” http://www.radiolab.org/2007/sep/24/

Music and the brain: summary from psychology workshop

“I think there’s enough evidence to say that musical experience, musical exposure, musical training, all of those things change your brain,” says Dr. Charles Limb, associate professor of otolaryngology and head and neck surgery at Johns Hopkins University. “It allows you to think in a way that you used to not think, and it also […]