Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Puppies Play Games, People Play Music

Why Good Things Happen to Good People by Stephen Post and Jill Neimark has a chapter on the scientifically proven benefits of feeling gratitude. Henry Fountain writes in the New York Times about his attempt to keep a gratitude journal.

Jennifer Crossley reviews Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks in the Shoals' Times Daily. This book demonstrates that music is inextricably part of being human. It seems to me that we are making a serious mistake by putting it so low on our educational priorities. Our sports undoubtedly hearken back to the universal competition for food and territory, and the instincts and strategies involved are also primitive. Puppies play games. Music, on the other hand, is intertwined with language as higher-level skills not available to even our nearest primate relatives. Dr. Sacks describes research showing that infants have a grasp of music and rhythm, but the Thai Elephant Orchestra really does not. Our society will have achieved true maturity when we see children eagerly turning in their cleats and bats because they choose to play in any kind of music ensemble--and they are widely celebrated for their choice.

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