May 2015 archive

Koto 5/11/2015

I wanted to practice section 1 (0:05~0:29) because when the tempo gets faster, I sometimes mess up, and forget where I am, so I want to be able to play the section accurate even though, the tempo is fast. I used the metronome to keep the tempo in my head.

I practiced section 2 (0:30~0:54) because I’m not ready for my presses sometimes. Also, I sometimes mess up with the notes. I focused on my presses for today’s practice, however, it sometimes makes the weird noise when I lift my hand after doing the press.

I practiced section 3 (0:55~1:10) because I mess up with my fingering most of the time. Also, I forget about the press on 「六」and 「斗」. I counted the rest between the two patterns so I will be able to match the other koto part with the rhythm.

Brain Myths

The brain myth I decided to look at is “Listening to Classical music makes you smarter”. No one in this world actually understands the human brain entirely. There are many myths that people tell about the brain. The myth I chose is about how music affects your brain and affects the intelligence of people.

This myth came up at 1950 when an ear, nose and throat doctor, Albert Tomatis started claiming that music produced by Mozart actually helped people with speech and auditory disorders. As a proof, in the 1990s, there was a study which showed that students who listened to 10 minutes of Mozart sonata had an increase of 8 points in their IQ test. However, right now there isn’t a specific scientific reason to show that classical music makes us get smarter.

Source: This is your brain on music- The science of human obsession

Source: This is your brain on music- The science of human obsession

The main parts of the brain stimulated by music are the auditory cortex, cerebrum, cerebellum, and the limbic system. In the auditory cortex, the brain cells are organized by sound frequencies, which some responding to high and the others responding to low frequencies. The auditory cortex analyzes the volume, pitch, speed, melody and rhythm of the music. The cerebrum is the part that remembers lyrics and sounds of music. It also helps visualize the music. The cerebellum helps creating smooth, flowing and integrated movements of music. It affects rhythmic movement in the body when responding to music. Finally, the limbic system is where emotions are controlled, and this area affects the emotion we have by listening to music.

The effect classical music has to the brain is:

  • Foster brain development in children

In Dr. Gordon Shaw’s study, who is a physicist, found that infants who listened to classical music written by Mozart and then studied piano, they scored higher than others in a math test. In different studies, it says that listening to classical music can help children develop spatial and verbal skills

  • Exert a calming effect

In the article “Journal of Clinical Nursing” in 2008, there was a study that told listening to classical music for 30 minutes reduced stress, anxiety and depression for a pregnant woman. Dr. Kevin Labar of Duke University states told that this effect comes when the brain releases dopamine.

By looking at the effects classical music has to the brain, we can say that listening to classical music makes us smarter, however, we also can say that listening to classical music helps us to focus more which leads us to being able to score higher grades in a test.

The existence of this myth matters in social, and economic ways. It matters in economic ways since parents of babies are buying classical music CDs so that their children will become smarter by believing this myth. If this myth isn’t true, it means that the parents are actually wasting money for hoping that their children will get smart. Especially these days, products with the name of “Classical music for Babies” are sold a lot.

Cooper, Belle Beth. “8 Surprising Ways Music Affects the Brain.” Buffer Social. Buffer, 20 Nov. 2013. Web. 04 May 2015.”Educators.”

“Educators.” Temporal Dynamics of Learning Center An NSF Science of Learning Center. Regents of the University of California, n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2015.

Kassem, Noreen. “What Parts of the Brain Are Stimulated by Music?”LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 11 Mar. 2014. Web. 08 May 2015.

“Listening to Classical Music Makes You Smarter.” Society for Neuroscience, n.d. Web. 30 Apr. 2015.

Programs, Online PHD. “Ten Studied Effects of Classical Music on the Brain.”DrJoe Today Drjoesdiyhealths Blog RSS., 24 Sept. 2012. Web. 08 May 2015.