This is a partial list of books, videos and websites we like. We encourage you to check out the links below, and hope that you are going to find them informative, inspiring or entertaining as well.

The opinions expressed in these media belong to their respective authors. They take responsibility for their own views. We just happen to like them.

We are continuously adding new materials to this page.




Online video: Benjamin Zander: The transformative power of classical music 

Book: Study of Counterpoint: From Johann Joseph Fux’s Gradus Ad Parnassum

The most celebrated book on counterpoint is Fux’s great theoretical work Gradus ad Parnassum. Since its appearance in 1725, it has been used by and has directly influenced the work of many of the greatest composers. J. S. Bach held it in high esteem, Leopold Mozart trained his famous son from its pages, Haydn worked out every lesson with meticulous care, and Beethoven condensed it into an abstract for ready reference.




Article: The Role of Deliberate Practice in the acquisition of expert performance, by Anders Erricsson et al.

This article explains expert performance as the end result of individuals’ prolonged efforts to improve performance. In most domains of expertise, individuals begin in their childhood a regimen of effortful activities (deliberate practice) designed to optimize improvement. Individual differences, even among elite performers, are closely related to assessed amounts of deliberate practice. Many characteristics once believed to reflect innate talent are actually the result of intense practice extended for a minimum of 10 years. Analysis of expert performance provides unique evidence on the potential and limits of extreme environmental adaptation and learning.

Book: Talent is Overrated, by Geoff Colvin

Asked to explain why a few people truly excel, most people offer one of two answers. The first is hard work. Yet we all know plenty of hard workers who have been doing the same job for years or decades without becoming great. The other possibility is that the elite possess an innate talent for excelling in their field. We assume that Mozart was born with an astounding gift for music, and Warren Buffett carries a gene for brilliant investing. The trouble is, scientific evidence doesn’t support the notion that specific natural talents make great performers.

According to distinguished journalist Geoff Colvin, both the hard work and natural talent camps are wrong. What really makes the difference is a highly specific kind of effort-“deliberate practice”-that few of us pursue when we’re practicing golf or piano or stockpicking. Based on scientific research, Talent is Overrated shares the secrets of extraordinary performance and shows how to apply these principles. It features the stories of people who achieved world-class greatness through deliberate practice-including Benjamin Franklin, comedian Chris Rock, football star Jerry Rice, and top CEOs Jeffrey Immelt and Steven Ballmer.




Article: Music and intelligence: A guide for the science-minded © 2008-2013 Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

Measured improvements where documented in the areas of Spatial-temporal skills, Math ability, Reading skills, Vocabulary, Verbal memory, Phonemic awareness, Working memory, Perceptual organization, Processing speed, verbal comprehension and better high school grades. Musically-trained people also perform better on general intelligence tests.

Article: Early Music Lessons Boost Brain Development, Science Daily, Feb. 12, 2013 — If you started piano lessons in grade one, or played the recorder in kindergarten, thank your parents and teachers. Those lessons you dreaded — or loved — helped develop your brain. The younger you started music lessons, the stronger the connections in your brain.

Article: So you want to grow up and be a doctor? Practice, practice, practice your instrument by Sheila Vail

An article summarizing the surprising (or not so surprising) connection between serious involvement with a musical instrument and academic success.

Book: Keeping Mozart in Mind, by Gordon Shaw, M.I.N.D. Institute/University of California, Irvine, U.S.A.

The demand for math and science skills in our technology-driven world is at a premium, and yet U.S. students continue to lag behind many other industrialized countries in these areas. This book, based on studies conducted on 8000 elementary school-aged children, proposes that not only is there a relationship between music and math comprehension, but that music can be utilized to heighten higher brain function and improve math skills. While this book’s discussion of the breakthroughs in understanding of spatial-temporal reasoning abilities will be of particular interest to neuroscientists and cognitive researchers, the book is also accessible to parents and educators.




Youtube Video: Jo Boaler on the good and bad of math education

Youtube Video: Jo Boaler on Mathematics Education and the Common Core State Standards

Youtube Video, TED Talk: Dan Meyer: Math Class Needs A Makeover




Youtube video: Changing Education Paradigms

Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned education and creativity expert and recipient of the RSA’s Benjamin Franklin award takes on some hard questions about education like  “How do we educate our children to take their place in the economies of the 21st century?” He argues that the traditional school, build on the model of the 19th century factory, is inadequate for the demands of the education of 21st century citizens.

Youtube video: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson makes an entertaining and profoundly moving case for creating an education system that nurtures (rather than undermines) creativity.

Youtube video: How to escape Education’s death valley

Sir Ken Robinson outlines 3 principles crucial for the human mind to flourish — and how current education culture works against them. In a funny, stirring talk he tells us how to get out of the educational “death valley” we now face, and how to nurture our youngest generations with a climate of possibility.

Online Article: Standardized Tests-What Every Parent Should know

This article discusses the problems that appear when the emphasis of standardized tests leads the teachers to teach to the test.

Book: Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D.: Awakening Your Childs Natural Genius

Amazon Book Description: Parents are looking for new and creative ways to help their youngsters develop and achieve their full potential. They want practical ideas for activities to do at home and authoritative advice on how to get the most out of their children’s schools.

Book: Pressured Parents, Stressed-out Kids: Dealing With Competition While Raising a Successful Child, by Wendy Grolnick and Cathy Seal

Amazon Book Description: To help panicky parents deal with the disturbing emotions stirred up by our competitive society, and to give them scientific knowledge of their children’s growing years, this book offers an illuminating and accessible guide to channelling competitive anxiety into positive parenting. The authors encourage parents to avoid pushing and pressurising their offspring, instead turning fear into calm guidance. Reassuring and empathic, the book shows parents how to avoid burn-out that afflicts so many in our high octane society helping them to raise children who thrive and excel.

Book: How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough

Amazon Book Description: Why do some children succeed while others fail? The story we usually tell about childhood and success is the one about intelligence: success comes to those who score highest on tests, from preschool admissions to SATs. But in How Children Succeed, Paul Tough argues that the qualities that matter most have more to do with character: skills like perseverance, curiosity, conscientiousness, optimism, and self-control.

Book: Why Don’t Students Like School? A cognitive scientist answer questions about how the mind works and what it means for the classroom by Daniel Willingham

Amazon Book Description: Cognitive scientist Dan Willingham focuses his acclaimed research on the biological and cognitive basis of learning. His book will help teachers improve their practice by explaining how they and their students think and learn. It reveals the importance of story, emotion, memory, context, and routine in building knowledge and creating lasting learning experiences.

Although written with the classroom in mind, the ideas in this book can be used by anyone interested in brain-based learning.

Book: What High Schools Don’t Tell You (And Other Parents Don’t Want You toKnow): Create a Long-Term Plan for Your 7th to 10th Grader for Getting into the Top Colleges by Elizbeth Wilsner-Gross

Amazon Book Description: In order to succeed in the fiercely competitive college admissions game, you need a game plan—and you have to start young. In this empowering guide, Elizabeth Wissner- Gross, a nationally sought-after college “packager,” helps parents of seventh to tenth graders create a long-term plan that, come senior year, will allow their kids to virtually write their own ticket into their choice of schools. Parents should start by helping their kids identify their academic passions, then design a four-year strategy based on those interests. The book details hundreds of opportunities available to make kids stand out that most high school guidance counselors and teachers simply don’t know about or don’t think to share. This indispensable guide should be required reading for any parent whose child dreams of attending one of the country’s top colleges.

Documentary movie: Race to Nowhere

“Race to Nowhere” is an education documentary that challenges current thinking about how to best prepare our students for success. It takes a hard look at the effectiveness of homework (and the quantity of homework), learning and teaching to the test, standardized testing, preparedness for college.

Documentary movie: They Came to Play

An uplifting feature-length documentary chronicling the passion surrounding the International Piano Competition for Outstanding Amateurs hosted by the Van Cliburn Foundation.

Documentary movie: Kids with Cameras

A one-hour documentary produced and directed by Alex Rotaru, following the progress and challenges of a group of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, aged eleven to nineteen, as they engage in an intensive film camp taught by national award-winning educator, Brad Koepenick and organized by foundation Actors for Autism and its founder, Alisa Wolf.




Book: Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within

In Infectious, acclaimed performance coach Achim Nowak introduces the reader to his powerful four Levels of Connection. Tested and honed through fifteen years of coaching senior-level executives around the globe, Nowak’s techniques instantly transform the skills taught in traditional business communication and NLP programs.