Tag Archives: Simon Ings

Read Faster, Read Smarter

I decided to spend the last day of this week off attending a CPD event laid on by ELC. Delivered by Park Sims Associates, the course was entitled Read Faster, Read Smarter and its stated aim was to help “all who want to get through their reading at work faster and smarter.”

I was hoping that there would be some straightforward ocular content as this would surely be transferable (to some degree) to the reading of music. I was not disappointed in this respect and hope to share that (and this) with colleagues at Monday’s In Service.

I’ve no wish here merely to post online the content of a course honed over years by fellow professionals, so let it suffice to say that it was as good an example of active learning as I’ve seen. Many of the tasks had been cleverly designed to highlight a particular point by stealth, so that the habits of a lifetime, which often conspire to impede us, might be circumvented.

Well presented handouts were abundant, allowing us to concentrate on the task at hand which, I think the 16 delegates would agree, was at times very challenging. However, no-one in their right mind, would expect a physical skill to fall into place in a matter of hours. Like most skills, speed reading consists of a variety of strategies and an intuitive application of the appropriate one comes only with experience.

I look forward to developing what I learned today and, hopefully, to exploring further the parallels with written music. Having had some intensive concentration on visual intake, I feel now may be the time to seek out a book written by one of the presenters of Tune-In: Music with the Brain in Mind – “The Eye: A Natural History” by Simon Ings.


Tune-In: Music with the Brain in Mind – 3

The afternoon session of The Wellcome Collection‘s Tune-In: Music with the Brain in Mind, entitled Music Leaves A Mark* was chaired by Simon Ings (novelist, critic & science writer: The Eye: A Natural History). With him was Dr. Alan Watson (Senior Lecturer in Anatomy at Cardiff University and author of The biology of musical performance and performance-related injury published by Scarecrow Press. As I write, Dr. Watson nears the end of a 10-week course for musicians entitled Physical Principles of Instrumental Performance. Since the event at Wellcome, I have been in touch with Dr. Watson to confirm a couple of details and I’d like to thank him here for his prompt and generous co-operation.** In the introduction to the afternoon’s events he mentioned an article published in Nature in 2002 entitled The Musician’s Brain as a Model of Neuroplasticity as being the impetus which nudged his career in the direction it has taken.

The overarching aim of the afternoon was to explore Continue reading Tune-In: Music with the Brain in Mind – 3