Clarinet Notes

Odds and ends of clarinet tech and training

Learning How to Learn


Neuroscience concepts we can apply in the practice room

  1. Personal Journey: The speaker describes a personal journey of growing up in various places, struggling with math in school, and eventually becoming a professor of engineering.
  2. Motivation to Learn: Despite initial difficulties, the speaker’s desire to learn and explore led them to enlist in the army, learn Russian, and engage in various adventures, including working in Antarctica.
  3. Transformation of Thinking: The speaker realized the importance of incorporating mathematical and scientific thinking into their love for language and culture. This shift in mindset became crucial for personal development.
  4. Learning Effectively: The speaker sought advice from top professors worldwide on effective learning strategies. The exploration of neuroscience and cognitive psychology led to the identification of key learning modes: focus mode and diffuse mode.
  5. Focus and Diffuse: The brain operates in two modes – focus and diffuse. The analogy of a pinball machine illustrates how thoughts move smoothly in familiar pathways (focus mode) and how new ideas require a different way of thinking (diffuse mode).
  6. Creativity and Relaxation: Creativity often involves transitioning between focus and diffuse modes. Examples from Salvador Dali and Thomas Edison demonstrate how relaxation can facilitate the flow of ideas between these modes.
  7. Procrastination and Pomodoro Technique: Procrastination is addressed, and the Pomodoro Technique is introduced as a method to enhance focused attention and relaxation, contributing to effective learning.
  8. Individual Learning Traits: Emphasizes that traits perceived as weaknesses, such as poor working memory or slow thinking, can contribute to creativity and a deeper understanding of the material.
  9. Effective Study Techniques: Advocates for effective study techniques, including testing oneself, mixing up study locations, and recalling information rather than just highlighting or rereading.
  10. Exercise and Learning: The importance of exercise in enhancing learning and memory is highlighted, backed by research findings on neurophysiological pathways.
  11. Recall and Mastery: Emphasizes the significance of recall, stating that understanding alone is insufficient. Mastery is achieved through a combination of understanding, practice, and repetition in diverse circumstances.
  12. Learning How to Learn: The speaker concludes by stating that learning how to learn is a powerful tool, encouraging the audience to broaden their passions for an enriched life.

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