Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could experience it every time we learn something?
The Montessori approach to education stands apart with a commitment to this goal. The process intends to provide children with as many positive experiences and opportunities for independence, and as much sensory exploration as possible. The aim is to help maintain and foster a child’s innate joy of learning, and sense of awe from the world and all the exciting things there are to learn about it.
I’m convinced as well that learning becomes easy as soon as something is both fun, and inherently interesting and exciting to us.
Gerald Hüther, Professor of Neurobiology and Head of the Center for Neurobiological Prevention Research at the University of Göttingen (Psychiatric Clinic) and the University of Mannheim/Heidelberg (Institute of Public Health) in Germany, studies the connection between learning and emotions — or more specifically, learning and enthusiasm.
His research shows that learning isn’t just a cognitive activity, but an experience involving the whole body. According to Hüther, every real learning experience has to involve emotions.
We can only successfully learn something when the ‘emotional’ centres in the brain are active.
In other words, what has been learned will only be anchored in the brain permanently if that learning experience was also accompanied by great emotional activation.
And according to Huether, the most enjoyable activation we know of is ‘enthusiasm’. As soon as we’re enthusiastic about something, the emotional centers in our brains release the neuroplastic transmitters we need for neural growth and the rewiring processes of the brain.
For Hüther, this is the ideal explanation for why we seem to be able to get really good at everything we do enthusiastically (really fast!).
For him it’s as simple as this: the brain develops according to how and what enthusiastically motivates us.
So you can see it becomes really important to maintain our enthusiasm as we grow older — something the students at Modern Music School see their teachers demonstrate all the time.
Being super enthusiastic about music themselves, our Modern Music School teachers are able to encourage and inspire students to engage in music in positive ways; always approaching its diversity and beauty with sincere interest, joy and awe.
When these emotions collide, we’re not just learning music, we’re experiencing learning in the truest sense of the word — the lasting kind driven by enthusiasm.