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  •  Learning to play a musical instrument (15+ / 0-)

    can raise a child's IQ, especially if it involves learning to play two parts simultaneously.

    Shortly after learning to play the guitar, I became interested in 'Travis picking,' a style developed by Merle Travis. The process involved playing a bass part with the thumb, accompaniment with one or two fingers, and a melody line with one of the remaining essence, it involves doing three things at once.

    Musicians who repeatedly practice this type of technique develop more gray matter, raising the IQ as much as 6 points.

    Here's an example of Travis picking (fast forward to about the 2:00 mark - it's a long video)

    The people dictating our educational programs are incredibly short-sighted. We need more fine arts and liberal arts programs if we're going to increase critical thinking.

    •  a feature, not a bug (3+ / 0-)

      common knowledge in this group, but worth mentioning is the completion of the transformation of our educational system into a work training program.
      "Math & Science" intone all the Serious People, from the president on down to the local Jawb Kreator. "We must train the emerging workforce to seamlessly fit into the Big Machine".
      Well and good, but incomplete. It runs counter to the interests of the oligarchy to have children learn how to think critically, but it runs counter to the functioning of society to have children prevented from learning how to think critically. Where the whole thing is FUBAR is that the oligarchy is arrogant and megalomaniacal enough to believe they can and should hold all the levers of power in society, and the existence of a well educated population is a hindrance. Until they grok that our lot improving makes their lot improve, it will remain ever thus. I'm not hopeful.

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Fri May 17, 2013 at 05:03:36 AM PDT

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    •  Travis picking. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      elfling, praenomen, RiveroftheWest

      In my short stints trying to learn guitar, I was taught a few styles of travis picking.

      For examples one might know, recall Simon and Garfunkel's "The Boxer", or many songs Gordon Lightfoot played.

      For virtuoso examples, check out Leo Kottke.

      Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

      by Gentle Giant on Fri May 17, 2013 at 10:25:47 AM PDT

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