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 Post subject: Practice Studies
PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 11:42 am 
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Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2005 8:06 am
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Location: Trapped Behind the 'Zion Curtain'
Ok, this is very technical stuff, so this seemed like the best place to put it. I came across this paper when it was posted in another forum I frequent. It talks about some scientific studies that not only support Scott's method for learning new pieces, but actually comes close to explaining why this approach works so much better than the typical approach some of us are more familiar with. :oops:

http://www.newenglandconservatory.edu/s ... ebrian.pdf

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:14 pm 
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Interesting article. Apparently, Molly Gebrian (the author) is an award-winning violist and a neuroscience graduate who won the neuroscience program prize in 2004 from Oberlin College in Ohio. Since she bases her article so much on other research, it would have been interesting if she had footnoted her references.

In any case, she credits sleep as one of the most important ingredients for learning. She also says that mental practice and slow practice are effective.

"...spending hours and hours on a really tricky fast passage on the first few days of practicing isn’t as efficient as getting it fluent at a slower tempo and then just leaving it until the next day. The next day, not only will you be able to play it faster, but you’ll spend much less time getting it to a faster tempo than you would’ve the day before."

Good stuff.

Brent


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:47 pm 
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Brent wrote:
Interesting article. Apparently, Molly Gebrian (the author) is an award-winning violist and a neuroscience graduate who won the neuroscience program prize in 2004 from Oberlin College in Ohio. Since she bases her article so much on other research, it would have been interesting if she had footnoted her references.

Yeah, I noticed, too, that she had several in-text references, but no bibliography or information pointing to the referenced publishings.

But as I was reading it, I just kept thinking about all the analysis and air guitar that Scott has us do during the memorization step of learning music; and how the mechanics of it make so much sense when coupled with the neuroscience in this article.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:09 pm 
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Have either of you seen the book This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of Human Obsession by Daniel J. Levitin.

Here for the Amazon link.

It is not so much about the learning of music, but related in that it is very centered on the neurophysiology of music. I highly recommend this fun and quick read.

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Miss practice once, I notice. Miss twice, my teacher notices. Miss three times, my audience notices.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 1:25 pm 
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Thanks for that link, Dave. That looks like a very intersting book.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 2:32 pm 
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Interesting article. However, I found the stuff about cells that inhibit erroneous movements pretty suspect. At that low level, brain cells cannot "know" what movement or outcome is intended; that is a much higher level brain function. So I think more accurately what is going on is higher levels of the brain are monitoring outcomes and repeating movements that result in positive outcomes (practicing) resulting in the reinforcement of those patterns (chunking that set of movements into a repeatable grouping that can be called on). Consider a basketball player practicing shooting foul shots. S(he) shoots the ball with a certain motion; then monitors the outcome (does it go in or not). If it does, she repeats it with the same motion. If not, she tries to adjust until a motion is found that produces the desired outcome repeatedly. Then that motion is repeated to reinforce. There's no way for these error inhibiting cells to know the outcome until half a second later when the eyes and ears tell the brain whether the ball went in.


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