Friday, August 13, 2010

Playing the Harmonica Makes Me a Better Kisser?

I'm learning to play the harmonica.  In principle, in theory, as the cortical maps in my somata-sensory cortex get remapped, I should become a better kisser, serenading with both sweet music and sucky face.  In theory.  I"m learning breath control, thus tuning the muscles to blow with just the right force (if only I could figure out how to get adjacent muscles to do the una brow raise!).  Its not just the brute force of blowing, but having a repertoire of different blows:  in and out, soft and slow, staccatto!

Then there are the ear neurons which are getting remapped to more finely perceive the gradations of sound and coordinate with the newly trained neurons for the lips and mouth muscles.  I'm still working on being able to blow a single note on command and to move from single note to single note.  This seems to require a kind of spacial perception.  Its one thing to start on the left and play single notes in sequence, but another to skip around, land on a hole, and adjust the lips.

Being a self-aware chap, I'm also adding a conceptual scaffolding to the physical learning.  Learning concepts about what it is I'm doing that aid in my perception of my performance.  As exhibited by this post.

So there's a lot going on here: arm muscles perceiving position and moving the harmonica, muscles tha shape the lip and press in, muscles that blow at the right strength, ear that perceive the correctness and adjust.  Lots of new synaptic terminals are required for all this?  Hundreds? Thousands more likely.

And as I suggested, this could come in handy for other purposes.

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