Thursday, April 25, 2013

Brain Stimulation and Golden Moments

During brain surgery, patients can experience vivid memories of older events when portions of their brains are electrically stimulated.

The electrode touches a spot and all of a sudden, you vividly remember riding your bike when you were 11 years trying to get home before that thunderstorm.

This has always amazed me.

My teaching year is coming to an end and, for extra credit, I'm asking my students to reflect on the year as whole and write down some "themes" for the year.  With any student, there have been those wonderful "breakthrough" moments when they make a little adjustment technically or musically and experience a leap forward in their playing.  I LOVE those moments.  I sometimes think of them as Golden Moments.

Now that the year is ending and juries approach, I would love for my students to be able to vividly recall those breakthrough moments.

Performance is the art of remembering

I suppose inserting electrodes into my students' brains might be frowned upon by my university so I'll have to refrain from that.

In an ideal world, however, there would be some way to grab onto those Golden Moments and bring them to the forefront of the brain so that, each time one goes to play, the memory is right there...