Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013 - (Page 14)

six strings and a dream interview with gary Marcus, author of Guitar Zero If you don’t start playing an instrument as a child, can you become good at it later in life? Or is there, as is commonly believed, a “critical period” after which the learning window closes? A professor of psychology and director of the NYU Center for Language and Music, Gary Marcus decided to be his own guinea pig as he explored this idea. Dr. Marcus set out to practice guitar for 10,000 hours— testing another popular belief that this is the amount of time needed to achieve expertise, in anything—to see if he could become fluent on an instrument. by Melissa Hartman In graduate school, I tried to learn again with something called the Miracle Piano, which you hooked up to your computer, and was basically a typing tutor for piano. I made it through the first few lessons fine; I learned where all the notes were and in what order I was supposed to play them. But I really didn’t have a sense of rhythm and timing, and after about five lessons, I gave up on it. There were no miracles with the Miracle Piano. did you attempt to learn an instrument when you were younger? 14 imagine How did you find your way to the guitar? My early experiences were dreadful. The first one I remember is trying to learn to play the recorder in fourth grade. I’d dug up a recorder at home somewhere, and I asked if I could take lessons. My mom bought me the lessons, but the teacher discerned when I couldn’t play “Mary Had A Little Lamb” that recorder was probably not for me. I wasn’t trying to be a great musician; I was just trying to play at all. I think she was looking for the next great thing, and I obviously was not that. As the title of the book suggests, I made my most serious efforts at learning music after making a little progress in the video game Guitar Hero, which I initially thought would be impossible. But when I started, I wasn’t 100 percent certain whether I wanted to try piano or guitar. Ultimately I chose the guitar because I just liked the sounds it made. I liked the physicality of it. And because I make my living as a researcher and a writer at a computer keyboard, I didn’t really want to spend a couple of hours a day at another kind of keyboard. Of course, there are other possibilities, but I thought that instruments that require very fine control of mar/apr 2013

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013
Big Picture
In My Own Words
Music to My Ears
Together as One
Circle of Inspiration
Six Strings and a Dream
In Pursuit of Joy
Jazz Studies, Improvised
Music in College
From the Great Wall to the Golden Gate
Sines and Wonders
Selected Opportunities & Resources
My Journey Through the College Admissions Process
How It Feels to Run
Off the Shelf
Word Wise
Exploring Career Options
One Step Ahead
Planning Ahead for College
Students Review
Mark Your Calendar
Knossos Games

Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - March/April 2013