During a recent visit to the book rental place, I picked up “The Mind Map Book” by Tony Buzan. Well, I had a reason for picking up this book. I am learning music and it is extremely challenging for me to memorize random notes. So, I was looking for some tips on how to improve my aging memory cells 🙂
Tony Buzan highlights several interesting facts related to the brain and its structure. The structure of the nerve cell especially the tree like branches of that (dendrites from Greek δένδρον déndron, “tree”) radiate around the nuclear area of the cell. From this he has a made a leap of faith that our memory and thought processes should look like the dendrites!
So, despite being skeptical about Buzan’s hypothesis, I decided to experience “the Mind Maps”.
Yes, I went through an exercise in the book to my son’s amusement. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch your dad sit with a bunch of crayons and sheets of paper!
The Phone Number Challenge!
I decided to test my new found technique against my teenager’s younger dendrons! We decided to memorize his new phone number..Brute short term memory vs “the Mind Map”.
After giving ourselves the same amount of time to memorize, we tested ourselves, few hours later and the next morning. I actually remembered the number (got one number wrong first but quickly recapped the map to get it right). My son did it too and he was declared the “winner” since I had one digit wrong. However, I truly felt like a winner! I have challenged by these phone numbers for more than two decades now. For the first time, I confidently recalled the number few hours later and the next day. My phone number Mind map actually worked!!
- Used associations to existing things
- Made it funny
- Included sounds Ohh for zero
New Home Requirement Gathering Session
We are in the middle planning for our new home. We wanted to list all the stuff we needed in our future home before we meeting the architect. We had done a short list and it was already getting little stressful. Armed with this new technique of mind map, I convinced my wife to give mind map a try. We armed ourselves with a large white sheet and crayons, pencils and pens! We ended up with the picture below (“the house map!”) after about 30 minutes.
- We did not argue or make judgmental remarks during the entire process!
- It felt good..Both of us felt like we did a good first draft
- It will grow with further inputs from kids and others
- We are planning to use it during our discussion with the architect
After 204 pages and some real successes, I tried putting the Mind Map to work for my music lesson..To memorize a Carnatic classical varnam in the raga Nata Kuranji! Other than helping me memorize the parts of a varnam, it has been useless!
- It did not help for any section of the varnam (pallavi, anu pallavi, chitte swara, charana or yethu gade)
- Sounds perhaps need a different technique
- What might work for the sounds or video?
- Is there a way to modify this amateur mind map of varnam to something that would actually help?