Blogs Articles Organizations Biography Jack's Book Contact Information Links

Navigation: SOS Sisson > Traumatic Injury Blog


Jack Sisson's TBI Blog

A hug is duct tape for the soul.

 


From Today on MSNBC:

When Derek Amato crashed headfirst into the hard bottom of a pool, he was scared about what he might have done to his brain. But amazingly the fallout from that accident wasn’t all bad. Along with the headaches and other post-concussion symptoms, the accident brought Amato an unexpected gift: it turned him into a musical savant.

Although Amato had always loved music, he’d never been serious about playing any instrument before the head injury. Amato dabbled a bit with guitar before the accident but described his musical ability to TODAY as “on a scale of 1 to 10 . . . like a 2.5, close to 3.”


Less than six years ago, Derek Amato had only mediocre guitar skills. But 
after suffering a concussion – and never having a lesson – he became a 
piano-playing sensation. 

Amato now plays the piano like a virtuoso, making up melodies from the patterns of black and white blocks that stream across his brain in endless succession. He’s cut an album of original compositions and is currently at work on another.

When Derek Amato crashed headfirst into the hard bottom of a pool, he was scared about what he might have done to his brain. But amazingly the fallout from that accident wasn’t all bad. Along with the headaches and other post-concussion symptoms, the accident brought Amato an unexpected gift: it turned him into a musical savant.

Although Amato had always loved music, he’d never been serious about playing any instrument before the head injury. Amato dabbled a bit with guitar before the accident but described his musical ability to TODAY as “on a scale of 1 to 10 . . . like a 2.5, close to 3.”

Amato now plays the piano like a virtuoso, making up melodies from the patterns of black and white blocks that stream across his brain in endless succession. He’s cut an album of original compositions and is currently at work on another.

When Derek Amato crashed headfirst into the hard bottom of a pool, he was scared about what he might have done to his brain. But amazingly the fallout from that accident wasn’t all bad. Along with the headaches and other post-concussion symptoms, the accident brought Amato an unexpected gift: it turned him into a musical savant.

Although Amato had always loved music, he’d never been serious about playing any instrument before the head injury. Amato dabbled a bit with guitar before the accident but described his musical ability to TODAY as “on a scale of 1 to 10 . . . like a 2.5, close to 3.”

Amato now plays the piano like a virtuoso, making up melodies from the patterns of black and white blocks that stream across his brain in endless succession. He’s cut an album of original compositions and is currently at work on another.

Amato isn’t the only person who has had artistic talents spring from an injury to the brain. While rare, there are at least 30 others around the world who have developed musical abilities after some sort of brain trauma. Damage to the brain has also been known to spark the ability to draw and paint in others who had never before put pen or paint brush to easel.

Amato’s life changing head injury occurred in 2006 when he was horsing around with some friends. He dove into the shallow end of a pool and hit his head hard.

“I remember the panic that set in,” Amato remembers. “Like I knew I hurt myself. I knew it was something bad.”

Doctors diagnosed a concussion and Amato was briefly hospitalized.A few days after the accident, he dropped in on a musician friend. Amato spotted the friend’s keyboard and felt inexplicably drawn to it.

“It was just one of those moments where you just know,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “It was just drawing me to it.”

Amato sat down at the keyboard and immediately started playing. Though he’d never had a lesson, it was as if he’d played all his life. And what he was playing now was all original.

“It just all came out,” he told TODAY. “It was almost like it was just flowing with no limitations. Really.”

Amato was examined by Mayo Clinic neurologist Dr. Andrew Reeves in a session that was captured and broadcast by the Science Channel. Reeves says that the head injury rewired Amato’s brain circuitry leading to an “acquired savant syndrome.”

Amato does have some serious residual effects from the concussion. “I deal with fluorescent light issues,” he told TODAY’s Matt Lauer. “I collapse sometimes out of the blue. And the migraines and headaches are intense. And my hearing is half gone.”

Still, Amato said, the newfound talent makes up for all of that.

“I think the headaches and the loss of hearing – those things are kind of the price-tag on this particular gift,” he told Lauer. “And I’m OK with that. So I look at it as a blessing.”

Labels: , , , ,


TBI Film Reviews
TBI Book Reviews
Traumatic Brain Injury Law Blog
Brain Blog
NeuroNotes
Brain Blogger
SoapBlox/Chicago: Protecting Our Troops
Head Injury Survival Journal
Losing the Physical Self

Tower of Hanoi: Instructions for this popular puzzle can be viewed simply by clicking the Instructions button on that page.

May 2005   June 2005   July 2005   August 2005   September 2005   October 2005   November 2005   August 2006   September 2006   October 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   April 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   September 2007   October 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   January 2009   March 2009   April 2009   December 2009   April 2010   May 2010   June 2010   July 2010   August 2010   September 2010   October 2010   November 2010   January 2011   February 2011   March 2011   April 2011   May 2011   June 2011   July 2011   August 2011   September 2011   October 2011   November 2011   December 2011   January 2012   February 2012   March 2012   April 2012   May 2012   June 2012   October 2012   November 2012   December 2012   January 2013   February 2013   March 2013   April 2013   May 2013   June 2013   October 2013  

only sossisson.com

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

FindingBlog - Blog Directory