Unlock your brain’s potential by discovering how to think!
I realize that you are saying to yourself, “I already know how to think.”
In the next 2 minutes, you will discover one of the best strategies that the greatest thinkers have ever practiced.
When I was a student at Juilliard School, one of my teachers assigned me a book or article to read each month. The teacher made a statement about the book and asked me a question that made me think about it. I also had to submit a short summary of what I had just read. I realized that their ultimate goal was to develop artists who were often great thinkers.
One of the people I was introduced to through these books was Dr. Gerald Edelman. Dr. Edelman studied the violin as a child and contemplated a career as a concert violinist. He decided to pursue a career in medicine and then won a Nobel Prize in 1972 for his work in immunology and in 1973 began studying the human brain. He went on to perform in a series of classical music concerts at his Institute of Neurosciences.
In Dr. Edelman’s (1992) book “Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On Matters of the Mind,” he said that each of us has a “Darwinian brain” that evolves with the stimulation you give it. For example, a young child who takes violin lessons for 2 years or more “will develop and adapt strong neural connections by improving brain function.”
Professor Lincer also assigned “Awakenings” to Oliver Sacks, MD, who wrote many books on his neurological case histories of his patients. He was Professor of Clinical Neurology at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Dr. Sacks studied piano as a child and continued to play throughout his life.
He said that “music has been the most profound non-chemical medication for our patients. What we see, fundamentally, is the power of music to organize, and to do this effectively and joyfully, when abstract or schematic forms of organization fail. “.
Classical music has the power to organize the brain due to its complex rhythm.
Dr. Sacks had a patient suffering from severe Alzheimer’s. The patient “responded to the music in the hall by taking his wife in his arms, looking into her eyes and dancing with her.”
One of his patients suffered a stroke and could no longer walk or speak. Dr. Sacks brought in an accordionist who played a familiar song and the patient began to sing the song with him. Music has the power to stimulate memory. “Memory, says Dr. Sacks, is the key to a sense of self” and music evokes emotion and emotion can bring your memory back. “
I recognized that there is a scientific link between the study of musical instruments and academic and social success. The study of a musical instrument develops millions of new connections, synapses, between the nerve cells of the brain. Many of the world’s scientists, doctors, teachers, authors, and mathematicians are also musicians..
Over the years, Professor Lincer and I continued our conversations about the many books and articles that he had me read. I have incorporated our discussions in several of my books, articles, radio shows, and blogs over the past twenty years and also, at his urging, had a dialogue with both Dr. Oliver Sacks and Dr. Gerald Edelman.
I realized that Professor Lincer was teaching his students to develop an Aristotelian fascination for critical thinking skills. Aristotle made statements and asked questions that led the student to think of a well-chosen answer.
Aristotle’s “Ethics” deals with all aspects of “How to lead a good life.” Family / community values, Virtues: “wisdom, temperance, courage, justice and friendship. Doing the right thing and making the right decisions defines us. The different types of friendships to connect with others.”
The magic of studying Aristotle’s method of thinking is that the student is discovering facts independently with the help of Aristotle, rather than being instructed by him. It forces us to use inductive and deductive reasoning as critical thinking methods.
The greatest gift a teacher can give his students is to teach them how to think … not what to think.