Disseminating Research In An Approachable Way

In 2014 Anita worked with the creative team at TED Ed lesson worth sharing to create a short film titled "How playing an instrument benefits your brain". This film bought together neuroscientific research into the benefits of music education on brain development in a way that allowed high school and college students to understand the changes that were happening in the brain every time they practised their instrument.

How is the film being used?

Anita receives emails very from around the world with stories of how the TED ED film is being used. Here are some highlights

We did our big annual concert and all the parents were there, and many of the school leadership team, and we stopped the concert in the middle and showed your film. The parents thought it was a bit strange but once they started watching they were riveted. Then just before we played the next piece we made an announcement an said “now think about what is happening inside your child’s brain when they play this next piece”. We have never seen the parents so engrossed in watching their children. It was BRILLIANT!
— High school Director of Music in Australia
Our band program was going to be cut, and we were desperate. I sent out an email to all the parents the night before the meeting, saying all the things we have said before about how important music is for their children. But this time we attached the link to your video. The next morning I turned up to school, ready to face the terrible news that our program would close. During the night the head teacher had got so many emails from parents begging, some demanding, that he not to cut the program, that he had reconsidered his decision. The band program is still going strong, and it is all because of you. Thank you!
— Band Conductor in the U.S.

TED Education animated film

Written by Anita Collins

Animated by Sharon Colman

When you listen to music, multiple areas of your brain become engaged and active. But when you actually play an instrument, that activity becomes more like a full-body brain workout. What’s going on? Anita Collins explains the fireworks that go off in musicians’ brains when they play, and examines some of the long-term positive effects of this mental workout.
— TED ED ideas worth sharing
Sharon Colman - Animator

Sharon Colman - Animator