Friday, December 6, 2013

Fw: "Early music lessons may improve brain performance" (22.11.13) article by Ian Sample

This letter appeared in The Guardian Weekly (Dec.6, 2013)
Sent: Sunday, November 24, 2013 7:56 PM
Subject: "Early music lessons may improve brain performance" (22.11.13) article by Ian Sample

Professor Wang's study on how early music lessons affect a person's professional success or failure in adulthood,  raises some tantalizing questions that require further research. For example, would Einstein, Herman Hesse, Thomas Mann, and Marlene Dietrich have succeeded in their respective fields if they hadn't had violin lessons in childhood?  Would Thomas Jefferson, Woodrow Wilson, and Richard Nixon become presidents of the United States without violin lessons? Moreover, we have the infamous as well as the famous to consider: Dictator Benito Mussolini, Gestapo Chief Reinhardt, and terrorist Ulrike Meinhof---all were amateur violinists.  (I can imagine Il Duce playing second fiddle in an opera orchestra if it hadn't been for his oratory skill, fascist ideology, and ill-fated friendship with Adolf Hitler.)

 Perhaps, in the course of her intriguing research, Ms. Wang will discover that those children who study art, ballet, poetry, chess, or any of the fine arts, will also develop and improve that area of the brain involved in language skills and "executive function," or a person's ability to plan and carry out tasks.

Les Dreyer  (Retired violinist of Met Opera Orchestra)

180 West End Ave. NYC 10023   USA