Is it possible to take any ordinary adult brain, and turn it into that of a musician?
Here at Brainjo, we think that answer is a resounding yes.
The Brainjo Method for musical instruction is the first teaching system to incorporate the science of learning and neuroplasticity and to target the adult learner.
I’m Dr. Josh Turknett, a neurologist, musician, neuroplastician, and founder of Brainjo. For the past few years, I have written about the principles that underlie the Brainjo Method in a recurring column in the Banjo Newsletter entitled “Your Brain on Banjo”. For a few years, folks have asked if I could one turn this into a formalized methodology. That day is here!
The Brainjo Method is based upon the following core principles and beliefs:
1. That anyone, at any age, can learn to play music well by using these tools and techniques, as they rely on properties of the human brain that we all share. And, given the many benefits of learning to play music, they should!
2. That to learn to do anything new – like playing a musical instrument – we must change our brain. Specifically, we must create neural networks that control whatever skill or new activity it is we are learning. These neural networks are created through proper practice.
The study of neuroplasticity is the study of how the brain changes. By understanding and applying the science of neuroplasticity, then, we can take full advantage of this remarkable property of our brains that we all possess throughout our lives.
3. Success or failure in learning music depends on how well we capitalize on our brain’s innate capacity for change, and has little to nothing to do with innate talent. Success or failure is determined by how we go about learning.
4. Those who have reached the level of mastery have done so because they were masters of the learning process, or masters of changing their brains. They did not reach mastery on account of any special genetic gift, or talent.
Through consistent, focused effort and the right process, anyone who wishes to can also reach this level. Furthermore, studying the learning methods of the masters provides another fertile avenue for exploring the learning process.
If you’re interested in creating your own banjo playing brain, check out the Breakthrough Banjo course, a complete beginner through advanced methodology based entirely on the Brainjo Method of instruction. You can also view the full Brainjo Course Catalog here.
To read more about the principles that underlie the Brainjo Method, check out the ongoing “Laws of Brainjo” series.