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Friday, December 29, 2017

Artscape: Striking A New Chord, Part 2 | Rhode Island Public Radio - Arts & Culture

"In part 2 of our series, "Striking a New Chord: A 15-Week Journey To Learning An Instrument," RIPR’s Morning Host Chuck Hinman continues to follow a group of adults learning to play string instruments for the first time." 

Beginners' ensemble at practice
Photo: Chuck Hinman / RIP

To really appreciate what it takes to learn this new skill, Hinman himself is part of the class and learning the cello. 

At this point, the class has completed more than half of the 15 scheduled weekly lessons, organized by the Community String Project, an group that specializes in making string lessons accessible and affordable to adults and children.

The students have been learning the basics: how to read music, use the bow and finger the notes, and how to develop their rhythm skills. It's all leading up to a concert recital at the end of January.

"As of right now, it's going to be Wednesday, January 31st," said the ensemble's teacher, Nathan Rodriguez. "We'll be playing in the Grand Ballroom at Linden Place, in Bristol."

Describing his experience learning to play the cello, RIPR's Chuck Hinman said he's been finding it rewarding, but also a bit frustrating, especially the practicing part. 

"It's a lonely activity," he said. "Just me and my impatience with the speed of my improvement."

But Hinman is quick to add that he's discovered an unexpected benefit to this attempt to learn the cello as an adult. It may be helping him avoid some serious brain disorders brought on by aging. 

"Research shows that learning to use a musical instrument in older age can help protect you against dementia and Alzheimer's disease," said Dr. Jessica Alber, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Butler Hospital Memory and Aging Program in Providence.
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Additional resources 
Adult beginners, including RIPR's Chuck Hinman, on their first day of class.
Photo: RIPR

Artscape: Striking A New Chord by Chuck Hinman, Morning Edition host at Rhode Island Public Radio.   

"...RIPR’s Morning Edition host Chuck Hinman follows a beginning adult ensemble class for violin, viola, cello and bass in Bristol, RI."

Source: Rhode Island Public Radio