Here comes Frankie – talking about Synaesthesia

This is what our year 5/6s have been reading and talking about in the library this week. Here comes Frankie by Tim Hopgood is about a boy who lives in a very quiet and colourless world until the day he decides he will learn to play the trumpet. Although the sounds he makes aren’t great at first, he soon realises that the notes he plays produce the most vivid smells and fabulous colours. His parents can see and smell these effects too and soon his whole street is alive with colour and sound. This is a lovely book with wonderful illustrations.

Frankie has a condition called synaesthesia, basically a tangling of the wires in the brain causing some senses to interlink. A great website called Your Amazing Brain gives a good description – click on this link here.

A number of famous artists and musicians have synaesthesia, including the artist Vincent Van Gogh and the musician Billy Joel. Many musicians and artists see having this condition as an asset but unfortunately, when Vincent started having piano lessons and the teacher realised he was associating colours with certain notes, he took this as a sign of insanity and asked him to leave! Poor Vincent!

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