One evening I was watching my daily fill of the 24 hour new cycle complete with talking heads yelling back and forth at each other because I didn’t want to be alone with my own thoughts. My wife was calling to our two Papillion dogs to come in from the backyard. Honey Bunn came in first, as she always does, because she wants her treat first as she comes in out of the cold. Our other dog Teddy always takes his time in order to get one last bark at the neighbor’s cat before he comes in. However, this evening was different. He was sitting in the middle of the yard with his ears flopped backward and looking up at the clear cold December night sky. He was giving the universe his full attention. However, that attention came to an end when my wife reminded him that she had some chicken waiting for him inside – he is a dog after all. Sometimes I wonder if our dog could see one of the strings that Einstein described when he talked about the universe as a series of violin strings across eleven dimensions.
We all have read the research that when music is played, our mind becomes highly engaged. Mozart music is recommended for college students to listen to while they are studying or researching new areas of knowledge. We also know that some dictatorships in the past have punished people harshly for wanting to learn to play an instrument. Even oppressive regimes understand the influence of music and even fear the power of it. This is what I think about when I see a gifted student close her eyes when she plays her violin during class or another gifted student swaying back of forth and almost dancing with his violin during a Christmas concert.
The potential of a student’s mind is not measured only by the rudimentary tools we have in 2010 but by the end product of what these students create with their lives 20-60 years down the road. This creative potential is the life force that drives groups of people from primitive darkness and chaos into more tolerant and peaceful modern societies. These advanced artists’ minds think of what can be possible; not limited to the common knowledge of the day. Albert Einstein had a mind like that when he saw the world not as the modern industrial world he grew up in but the world he helped create with the post-modern information age of today. He saw the universe as strings on a violin and he saw the grand design of this universe as the music of those strings.