Today’s interview is among the most fascinating we’ve had on the show to date. We’re joined by Dr. Josh Turknett, the neurologist, best-selling author and musician behind “Brainjo” – a music-learning methodology which originated on banjo but applies across all instruments, and which is designed to leverage modern scientific insights on how the brain actually learns.

At the Brainjo Center for Neurology & Cognitive Enhancement Josh tackles the question “Is it possible to take any ordinary adult brain and turn it into the brain of a musician?” – and finds strong evidence that the answer is a resounding “Yes!”

He is also the host of the terrific Intelligence Unshackled Podcast, which focuses on how to optimise the health and function of the brain, including its capacity to learn and change itself.

If you’ve ever wondered how exactly the brain learns new things, or whether your music-learning process is really dialed in to help you learn as quickly and enjoyably as possible – you are going to absolutely love this one.

In this conversation Josh shares:

  • A completely new way to think about how you’re spending your music practice time
  • An explanation of how to use visualisation to help you improve faster – and when exactly to do that visualisation.
  • The “labyrinth technique” to focus your practice time on what will deliver the biggest impact.

We also talk about how playing by ear on banjo is – and isn’t – different from other instruments, how playing complex music by ear actually works, how the adult brain compares to the child’s brain for learning – and a whole lot more.

You will come away with several new ideas that change how you think about your music learning.

Watch the episode:

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Learn new mental approaches to music practice in our interview with Dr. Josh Turknett, founder of Brainjo Center for Neurology & Cognitive Enhancement.