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Man suffers from head injury and becomes a sudden musical genius

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posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 02:58 PM
I had to share this miraculous story I heard today.

Derek Amato is truly one in a billion. He is possibly the only person in the world to have acquired musical ability after a traumatic brain injury. A severe concussion left him with the ability to play piano, an instrument he had never played before. He now plays professionally and earns his living as a musician. Now, the music never stops. He sees it constantly streaming in front of his eyes in the form of black and white squares that compel him to play. Derek journeys to the Mayo Clinic to meet with one of the world's top neurologists to try and find a way to control the incessant stream of music: an incredible gift that is also his curse.

Derek suffered from a traumatic brain injury that took place in a swimming pool. Afterwords he could suddenly play the piano! and extremely well. He's never taken any lessons, and cannot read or write music. He's been diagnosed with Savant syndrome.

Here are the web definitions for savant syndrome:

1.Savant syndrome, sometimes abbreviated as savantism, is not a recognized medical diagnosis, but researcher Darold Treffert describes it as a rare condition in which persons with developmental disorders have one or more areas of expertise, ability, or brilliance.

2.A disorder in which a person with greatly diminished mental skill shows extraordinary proficiency in one, isolated skill.

He sees black and white cube-like structures as music in his had, and often feels an overwhelming urge to play.

Four days after my accident I had discovered this amazing experience. I asked my mother to visit the music store with me. I simply told her that I just wanted to show her something. We found the nearest piano as I asked her to sit next to me. I remember asking her if she was ready. I shut my eyes and hoped that I would again see these black and white structures moving left to right. I began to play as if I was exploring some unfound treasure that had been locked up all this time in my head. My mother sat and cried, and then asked me, "what are you doing." My response was simple, "I guess God decided to give me my birthday present a bit early this year mom." My life at that very moment changed as I knew something very special had taken place. I have since left my corporate job and continue my personal quest to share this most miraculous testimony with the world, as I do believe in miracles! —Derek Amato

Wow! What beautiful anomaly as well as an epic gift to neuroscience.

Source 1

Source 2

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 03:04 PM
This could be totally irrelevant psuedo-science, but I remember that in the movie "Limitless" the drug that the main character was taking allowed him to access all information that his conscious and subconscious mind had ever heard, seen, smelled, tasted, or touched to a genius level. He was able to learn languages he half listened to, he was able to master the piano in a week, and he was able to abuse the stock market within a month.

So I guess, whatever we have perceived in our lives is somewhere within our noggins. Head trauma that causes neurological reconstruction could lead to some of those things to be put to use in an amazing way (of course, the opposite happens more times than not).

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 03:07 PM
Excellent post S+F

Reading it reminded me of a story about someone who had an accident and afterwards were able to speak a different language; I did a bit of digging and found this from 1993. It's from weekly world news (yes, I know) and is item 19 Link...

I have to say, its not the same as the story I remeber because I am sure that was a woman and it was an east european language she woke up speaking, like Serbian or Romanian.

anyway, interesting stuff!

posted on Jul, 2 2011 @ 03:18 PM
Heading out back to let my son swing away at my noggin with a 2x4.

I am gonna think about James Franco's invis art. Either I will be the best invis artist ever or I will forget about invis art. I win either way.

Such an odd thing to have happen, it is like our brains are all connected and when yours gets played with it taps into this group intelligence somehow. We all know "everything" apparently, just need find a way to get to it.

I see no other way for people to have the ability to do things they were never exposed to or were never taught after a little brain manipulation.

Or maybe just maybe they are past life traits coming to surface after some brain diddling.

Either way I think we should slow space exploration and start brain and earth exploration with all available resources. If we do not know ourselves and where we are how are we gonna go anywhere.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 07:37 AM
Hit me with a hammer Moma, and hand me my gibson.......
Some people spend a whole life time trying to master an instrument.
Id give a pretty penny for a smattering of that.....
Do you have a link to his music? what kind of music is it?
I thought id better go look this guy up after asking such idiotic questions with a loaded pc in my hand so here he is
edit on 3-7-2011 by stirling because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 07:53 AM
I don't understand how can anyone learn to play an instrument by becoming a "musical genius". I mean even if you have an excellent understanding of music you still wouldn't just be able to start playing an instrument you haven't played before. You need motor skills for that...

Kinda same goes for the person who learned a new language. How could that be possible? I'm not saying that it isn't, but it's weird to think about it. Maybe they got possessed by someone/something?

I am so tempted to bang my head against the wall in a hope to acquire new skills.

edit on 3-7-2011 by strato because: (no reason given)

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 08:13 AM

Originally posted by strato
I am so tempted to bang my head against the wall in a hope to acquire new skills.

edit on 3-7-2011 by strato because: (no reason given)

Partner and I are in tears

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 08:58 AM
reply to post by strato

Seeing your avatar.. it looks like you banged your head and all you got was a dead fish. Bum deal

You do have a very good point.. It's possible that some vital information was not already stored in his brain. Such as how to read music or how to operate a piano or how to move his fingers properly (dexterity). This would require him being previously exposed to this information at one point. If he was not, then how did he obtain it? Somewhat of a paradox.

It's said we only use up to 20% of our brains.
I guess we now know what the leftover 80% of the brain is capable of..

edit on 3-7-2011 by matito because:

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 12:26 PM
Here's a video featuring some of his music. Also found out that prior to the accident he'd suffered from multiple concussions in the past.

posted on Jul, 3 2011 @ 11:39 PM
What I want to know is this:

Are these brand new musical pieces coming forth from his mind?

It's baffling, to realise he's learned the physical aspect of playing the piano too.....It seems more and more like he's connected in with one of his previous lives.

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 10:35 AM
reply to post by LightAssassin

Yes, they are brand new pieces, straight from his mind.

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 06:08 PM
reply to post by RightInTwo

Well, it is truly amazing. The brain is a most unknown thing, and it is sad we never got to unlock it's full potential as a whole species.

posted on Jul, 4 2011 @ 06:22 PM
reply to post by RightInTwo

In the video, I noticed he was playing the piano at his mothers house. First I'm curious why his mother has a piano and when she bought it. If his mother owns a piano then that could mean he was most likely previously introduced to the piano.

I don't know anyone who has a piano in their home that never played the piano. Even if he purchased the piano for his mother - that would not make much sense to me unless he lives with her or is over there all the time. (unless he just has lots of money to spend).

Even if what happened to him was true, it would make a lot more sense to me if he had a some prior entry level exposure to music or playing the piano.

When I see things like this I start becoming suspicious of the whole story.

edit on 4-7-2011 by matito because:

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 07:30 AM
reply to post by matito

Honestly, it would depend, I mean without knowing the circumstances you cannot confirm, but I noticed he does singing too...

...the issue, or credibility is that this has all been checked out and he has been medically diagnosed as musical savant who also suffers from synthesitis (I think its called) where he can see the music in white and black blocks.

The other thing to keep in mind is that he says it never stops...that must be very tiresome...and hard on him, so in a way, he is broken. He may have known the piano previously but this new addition has drastically improved his abilities. I really think the brain needs to have some sort of comprehenison beforehand to be able to improve on a skill set. Armchair doctor time, and I'm no doctor.

Either way, its awesome, and a bit sad for him too not to be able to get a break from it.

posted on Jul, 5 2011 @ 12:13 PM
reply to post by LightAssassin

Thanks for the clear explanation. Makes sense.

It has been debated whether or not music and language are intertwined they are tied fairly close together in the same regions of the brain.

One brain system, based in the temporal lobes, helps humans memorize information in both language and music— for example, words and meanings in language and familiar melodies in music. The other system, based in the frontal lobes, helps us unconsciously learn and use the rules that underlie both language and music, such as the rules of syntax in sentences, and the rules of harmony in music.



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