Musicians show advantages in long-term memory

University of Texas at Arlington psychology researchers published and interesting research findings. They did sophisticated measurements of electrical activity of neurons in the brains of 14 musicians and 15 non-musicians. These tests proved, that musically trained people not only process linguistic materials faster than those without training, and have advantages in the working memory, but they process also non-verbal information faster.
As the researcher Dr. Heekyeong Park explained: “Our work is adding evidence that music training is a good way to improve cognitive abilities”.

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Is Music the Key To Success?

The New York Times brought an interesting article trying to find answer to the question above. Many well known personalities are mentioned, from Condoleezza Rice to Woody Allen, who have much closer to active music making, than we know. NBC’s Chuck Todd, who also plays a French horn says: “There’s nothing like music to teach you that eventually if you work hard enough, it does get better. You see the results.” Other high achievers mentioned in the article stressed, that music sharpened their collaboration, creativity, discipline and the capacity to reconcile conflicting ideas.

When Orchestra Plays Mindfully

An interesting interview with the renowned Harvard psychology professor Ellen Langer on mindfulness, innovativeness and authenticity. Prof. Langer characterized mindfulness as the simple process of noticing new things. Noticing new things keeps us in the present, makes us sensitive to context and perspective and helps us being engaged … and authentic.
She described a research, where they had an orchestra playing their piece mindfully and also mindlessly. The result was that “when the pieces are played mindfully, the symphonic orchestra members not only enjoy what they are doing, but that mindfulness seems to leave its imprint on the product they produce. … So that you seem more attractive to other people, you are feeling better and more engaged and enjoying your work and the thing you are doing ends up prospering. So it is win-win-win!”

Our clients have an opportunity to experience the same impact on the final result/product, when they attend our MusicTouch workshop.

You can watch the interview here.

“The purpose of art is to lay bare the questions that have been hidden by the answers.”

James Baldwin

Is Music Metaphor Better Than The Sport One?

“Are sports teams the most appropriate examples for today’s work team?” Interesting answer to this question brings the Forbes’ article Sick Of Sports: Why Rock Bands Are A Better Metaphor For Work Teams. Its author Ruth Blatt writes often about social science behind rock’n’roll music. And her answer here is a clear NO.
In sports, as Blatt writes in the article, there are clear winners and losers, there are rarely changing rules, or customer needs and expectations, and the organizational setup is stable.
But in real life, most organizational teams’ success depends on their creativity and adaptation to constant change. Instead of winning above competition, the most important is meeting the need of their customers – and only through that to beat their competition. And that means responding rapidly to challenges and opportunities.
On the other hand, rock music bands metaphor is much closer to the real life, as they create new products (concerts, recordings, videos) and they sell them in the marketplace. They also have to satisfy stakeholders, be it their audience, their peers, and critics. Rock musicians must generate revenue and constantly innovate to stay relevant.
Blatt summarizes her thoughts stating, “As exciting as it is to watch a great sports team, organizational teamwork is more complex than the playing field. By focusing on winning and losing, the sports metaphor narrows what we can ultimately accomplish.”

Arts Should Be at the Centre of the Curriculum

Recent Australian study found that students who more frequently participated in the arts, whether it was music, art, drama, or dance, they also tended to me more academically engaged, motivated in other school subjects and also had higher self-esteem, higher levels of life satisfaction and a greater sense of meaning in life.

We at Artistic Interventions Inc. bring these similar benefits to a workplace, so that arts participation can help with work outcomes.