It’s been a while since I’ve posted an installment of Life Stories, the podcast series of interviews with memoir writers about their memoirs and the art of writing about your life. Here’s a conversation with Gary Marcus about Guitar Zero: The New Musician and the Science of Learning. Marcus, a psychology professor specializing in language and cognitive development, was 38 years old when he decided to ignore all the previous life experience that suggested he had no talent for playing music and start studying the guitar. It turns out he’s not so bad, after all—and his professional training has led him to some interesting ideas about how we pick up new skills such as learning to play a musical instrument. Strictly speaking, Guitar Zero is only partially a memoir; it’s also got a fair amount of science and interviews with expert guitarists like Pat Metheny.
Listen to Life Stories #9: Gary Marcus (MP3 file); or download the file by right-clicking (Mac users, option-click).