Creative Sparks Video Transcript

Hello! My name is Joshua Berrett. I’m delighted to be able to share with you some details of my background as well as information about my upcoming series of programs.

Music has been a vital part of my life ever since I can remember – from the time I was a child in Cape Town South Africa when my family first began buying recordings to starting violin lessons at around the age of 9 to earning a PhD in Musicology from the University of Michigan to spending many years teaching college students in person and online while publishing articles and books on a broad range of music to retirement where I have had the good fortune to be able to continue doing what I love most – which is, introducing people of all ages to familiar and unfamiliar music in a way that I hope opens their ears and minds and hearts, and increases their well-being.

During these times when inperson classes have such an uncertain future I ‘m drawing on this long and varied experience to bring new, interactive music programs to lifelong learners everywhere, using zoom and other virtual platforms. In this preview I want to give you some idea of how I approach listening to music. My first series of programs focuses on “creative sparks” that have fired the imaginations of composers and musicians and in turn evoked deep visceral responses in us as listeners.

Just a few fascinating questions to consider: my music or they’re singing my song – how often have you said that? How much do you use “my” for any other art form? Why music? Did you know that the ear is our first sense organ to develop – at around the 17th week of pregnancy the human fetus already has a rudimentary ear. As Yehudi Menuhin said: “We heard long before we could see.” Just think of the rhythm of the mother’s heartbeat, the low pitches of blood flow, not to mention other auditory stimuli like the music an expectant mother might be listening to or dancing to. What effects do these have on a growing fetus? Music lights up multiple areas of the brain at the same time – literal sparks within the brains of composers, players, and listeners. What are the brain benefits of listening to music?

I hope your curiosity has been sparked by this introduction to me and the upcoming programs. To learn more, look for the information accompanying this video.