Category The Brain

What Makes the Sound of Music?

Linguists have argued about the neurological bases of speech and music for a long time, with most evidence and argumentation coming from anthropology and evolution – all cultures produce music, all cultures have language – these adaptations must be good for something.  Noted neuroscientist and linguist Steven Pinker, for example, has called music “auditory cheesecake,” […]

Teaching Creativity

The Sunday New York Times contained a popular article (it was in the popular list, anyway) entitled, “How to Raise a Creative Child.  Step One: Back Off.”  Regular readers will know that I’m interested in pedagogy – how to teach and how to motivate people to learn.  The column, by Adam Grant, is about learning […]

Memory and The Suzuki Way

Memory and learning are horribly unfair beasts.  Very little is understood about the way humans store information, but what we do know is that most learning is associative – that is, we attach bits of information, or associate them, with other bits of information we already know.  A corollary to that idea is the fact […]

Violin Dreams

I don’t remember my dreams too often, but I wrote once before about a dream that involved my violin, and last night I had another.  Details are sketchy, but I was roaming a dream-world warren of rooms dodging children and other people as I tried to find a place to play uninterrupted.  As the others […]

Dreaming Up Movement

I’ve been busy.  Very busy.  But though I’ve been away from the blog for almost ten days (perhaps a sad record), I’ve definitely been playing my new Gavotte and trying to work up vibrato.  The Becker Gavotte is coming along much better than the vibrato – I’m not making very rapid progress at all there.  […]


“I love violin – electric, death metal violin.” – Becca Cala, whose violin is becoming her ROAR I’m a big proponent of educating a whole person – the more areas of a brain we can activate the more well-rounded and beautiful the brainpower of the learner.  Becca’s story includes a horrific dose of childhood trauma – sadly all […]

Two Arms Working Together

When teaching brand new students trying their first karate class we always work on formal basic blocking.  It’s hard.  To make a downward block with the left arm, the right arm punches down to cover the groin, while the fist of the left arm rises up to the right temple.  The center line of the […]