Cher? Tom Cruise? Salma Hayek? Anthony Hopkins? Jamie Oliver? Albert Einstein?
Agatha Christie? Alexander Graham Bell? Robin Williams? Danny Glover? John Lennon? and Muhammad Ali?
What do these famous people all have in common?
As you might have guessed from the title yes it is that they are all Dyslexic.
Dyslexia is a specific learning difficulty which makes it hard for you to learn to read, write and spell correctly.
We do know that developmental dyslexia is inherited, so that, thanks to our DNA, we can be born with it.
Dyslexia affects around 8% to 10% of the Irish population.
The National Institute of Health reports that up to 15% of the U.S. population have learning challenges.
If you have dyslexia you may have trouble with reading, writing, spelling, maths,
and sometimes even music. Dyslexia can occur at any level of intelligence, and has many disguises so that teachers
and parents may instead erroneously observe children lacking motivation or “not trying hard enough”.
A dyslexic brain shows very little activity in areas known to be of high importance
to connecting the written form of words with their phonetic components. Thus to read,
people with dyslexia must create new neurological pathways. Compensation is made by using more use of
a front-brain section called Broca's area, commonly connected with other types of language speech and processing.
How might I know if I or my child has Dyslexia?
Here are a few of the main symptoms:
• Delayed speech development
• Speech problems, such as not being able to pronounce long words properly
• Problems expressing themselves using spoken language
• Little understanding or appreciation of rhyming words
• Spelling that is unpredictable and inconsistent
• Putting letters and figures the wrong way
A Sound Solution?
Alphamusic composer John Bram Levine believes that if you can slow the brain waves
down to the Alpha state then the useless mind chatter and negative self-talk of doubt
and fear may vanish whilst the left and right brain communicate more effectively
allowing information to be more easily absorbed, processed and remembered.
Levine studied electronics, graduating with a degree in Music Composition from Sydney University,
following which he learnt mediation. He challenged himself to formulate music that could induce
the same Alpha brainwave state achieved during meditation. A new genre was born: ‘Alphamusic’.
Does it work?
Stewart Holmes a dyslexic, hated studying, ‘It was all too hard and frustrating until
by accident I played ‘Silence of Peace’, an Alphamusic album whilst revising. I felt as if
a curtain surrounded the words on the page allowing me to absorb the words and meaning
freely and easily. I was astonished as no other music, whether it was new age,
relaxation, classical, rock nor jazz, has ever had this effect on me’.
Amy Turner-Monk was determined that her dyslexia was not going to stop her
realizing her dreams, so she applied to the Open University and asked for
assistance with her learning difficulties. The dyslexia assessor
recommended she use Levine’s Alphamusic whilst studying. Until her discovery Amy could
only read for 10 minutes before being tired and distracted and needing to take 30 minutes to rest
before continuing, ‘it all was quite draining’. ‘Using this brain wave transforming album
‘Silence of Peace’ I found I could study for more than an hour at a time without any exhaustion.’
Although such testimonials and Cambridge University studies have shown a positive link
between Levine’s Alphamusic and enhanced learning, more research needs to be done
in this area, to investigate if music truly could be the golden key to solve the dyslexic puzzle.
Levine is interested in hearing from anyone who would be interested in engaging in such research.