|Cellist Yo-Yo Ma plays music at Rall Lecture.
Something profound happens in the brain
when we enjoy music. It draws us in, time
and again, rousing our emotions. And it has
no boundaries. Music can transport us to
different moods, experiences and cultures.
Renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma explored
how music intersects with science and
culture during a casual and witty conversation
with NIH director Dr. Francis
Collins at the recent annual J. Edward Rall
While it undoubtedly takes talent and
persistence to master playing a musical instrument, Ma divulged his scientific secret
behind becoming a virtuoso who can play all
six Bach solo cello suites from memory. “You
learn what you need to learn by heart before
you’re 20,” he quipped.
Ma, 61, started playing cello at age 4. After
more than a half century of performing, he’s
grateful to play music as his life’s work.