When he became interested in how long it takes for us to form or change a habit, psychologist Jeremy Dean found himself bombarded with the same magic answer from popular psychology websites and advice columns: 21 days. And yet, strangely — or perhaps predictably, for the internet — this one-size-fits-all number was being applied to everything from starting a running regimen to keeping a diary, but wasn’t backed by any concrete data. In Making Habits, Breaking Habits: Why We Do Things, Why We Don’t, and How to Make Any Change Stick (public library) — which also gave us this fascinating read on the psychology of self-control — Dean, whose training is in research, explores the actual science of habits through the existing empirical evidence on habit-formation. He cites one influential study that gives a more concrete answer to the elusive question of how long it takes for a new habit to take root:
So, start the new year off right and start making new, better habits!
Multiple studies link music study to academic achievement. But what is it about serious music training that seems to correlate with outsize success in other fields?
The connection isn’t a coincidence. I know because I asked. I put the question to top-flight professionals in industries from tech to finance to media, all of whom had serious (if often little-known) past lives as musicians. Almost all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements.
The phenomenon extends beyond the math-music association. Strikingly, many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously.
Personally, I think the WORST thing I see are these kids who spend 6 days a week, 4+ hours a day on SPORTS. Fucking SPORTS. All year round. I’m not against sports, I played Soccer for 8+ years as a kid, but I remember practices being 2 times a week, and a game on Saturday (or Sunday). No “conditioning” after practice. No DAILY practices.
I think it is the worst thing for kids, all this emphasis on sports.
“We are getting many students who are technically proficient— in many instances are amazingly proficient— and some of them with prodigious talent,” he explained. “But many of the students don’t have an understanding of why the rest of the world digs American music—because [audiences] connect with this central thing that is uniquely American, blues and swing. It is the DNA of our music. That lack of connection, lack of awareness, I say, is a real crisis.”
I agree. I think a lot of people are just playing a billion notes and crap. Way too many people are doing that.
macProVideo.com, an online education company specializing in tutorial-videos for Mac users, has launched a new educational portal called The MPV Hub (http://www.macprovideo.com/hub/).
It’s a free resource developed for the Mac creative community. You can use the MPV Hub to find written articles about how to use software, short tutorial-video tips & tricks, interviews with industry experts, product reviews, and other article.
Minneapolis – November 12, 2012– MakeMusic, Inc. (NASDAQ: MMUS) today announced the upcoming release of an iPad version of SmartMusic, the interactive practice software, in the spring of 2013. The app will be previewed to the public at the New York State School Music Association Winter Conference, November 29 – December 2, 2012, and The Midwest Clinic Annual Conference, December 19 – 22, 2012.
MakeMusic should have this out in the Spring of 2012, not 2013. And hopefully it should run on ALL iPads (including the original) since Apple’s Garageband still runs on the original iPad (and it runs quite well actually).
Some interesting things. I think the biggest accomplishment is making it accessible, easy, and legal. Accessible in that you can now find all sorts of music in iTunes. And sample them. And buy them easily and legally. And he (and Apple) also made music accessible by bundling GarageBand with Macs……for free. GarageBand is a great little recording program, and tutorial program for Guitar and Piano. PLUS…..there is the iPad. Which you can now take just about your whole library of sheet and audio music with you. Anywhere. And now with iCloud, you can have access to just about everything you own (up to I think 30K songs) via the internet.
But what transpires inside the brain (and which areas are affected) during music education? How does this early stimulation & nurturing translate into better scholastic performance? These relatively simple questions continue to be the focus of intense research efforts by developmental neurobiologists.
So let’s start our first column with the 30,000 foot and cellular perspectives. Research strongly suggests that music education causes the simultaneous and continuous stimulation of many brain regions. New connections (“wiring”) between brain cells are formed. Through ongoing music education, the wiring also benefits students in other academic domains.
Which areas of the brain are “recruited” during music education? The short answer is all major regions. Let’s review how the brain is organized and how each region is engaged during music education.