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Future Imperative

What if technology were being developed that could enhance your mind or body to extraordinary or even superhuman levels -- and some of these tools were already here? Wouldn't you be curious?

Actually, some are here. But human enhancement is an incredibly broad and compartmentalized field. We’re often unaware of what’s right next door. This site reviews resources and ideas from across the field and makes it easy for readers to find exactly the information they're most interested in.

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The future is coming fast, and it's no longer possible to ignore how rapidly the world is changing. As the old order changes -- or more frequently crumbles altogether -- I offer a perspective on how we can transform ourselves in turn... for the better. Nothing on this site is intended as legal, financial or medical advice. Indeed, much of what I discuss amounts to possibilities rather than certainties, in an ever-changing present and an ever-uncertain future.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Children and the Mastery of Music... -- AL, CPS, Soc

*
Further to my post about the eight-year-old physics genius entering college in South Korea, here is a news piece from '04 about a 12-year-old prodigy composer. This boy, Jay Greenberg, has written at least five full length symphonies -- a number equal to what one might expect a talented adult composer to produce over the course of their lifetime.

The piece notes:

"We are talking about a prodigy of the level of the greatest prodigies in history when it comes to composition," says Sam Zyman, a composer. "I am talking about the likes of Mozart, and Mendelssohn, and Saint-Sans."

Zyman teaches music theory to Jay at the Juilliard School in New York City, where he’s been teaching for 18 years.

"This is an absolute fact. This is objective. This is not a subjective opinion," says Zyman. "Jay could be sitting here, and he could be composing right now. He could finish a piano sonata before our eyes in probably 25 minutes. And it would be a great piece."
The article also states:

Jay has been told his hearing is many times more sensitive than an average person’s. The sounds of the city need to be shut out manually. But Jay can’t turn off the music in his head. In fact, he told us he often hears more than one new composition at a time.

"Multiple channels is what it’s been termed," says Jay. "That my brain is able to control two or three different musics at the same time –- along with the channel of everyday life."
It's interesting to note that at least one accelerated learning researcher, Dr. Win Wenger, has developed techniques for stimulating perfect pitch and sight-reading music skills in the very young, as well as composition skills for anyone -- and even he is astounded by Jay Greenberg's reported aptitude.

Dr. Wenger remarks:

This is a phenomenon which should be studied as closely as possible, including high-speed high-resolution scans of his brain while he's composing and in-between times, somehow while letting him live a normal child's life.

What he can do or anyone can do, likely all of us could do if the functions involved were well identified, defined and trained. So I hope we find out how he does it. We would have some difficulty studying Wolfgang's brain in action, Jay Greenberg is our first real chance in several hundred years to find out how it's done.
Dr. Wenger's techniques also include a more generalized method for speeding and improving learning in children by helping them to experience a skill from the perspective of a genius.


Future Imperative

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