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Gambaru! But Pick Your Battles.

Hi again everyone.

In this blog I'd like to address the idea of resilience and perseverance. Resilience is a really big buzz word right now; and it certainly has its merits and its rewards. However I would like to add a little bit of nuance to this idea. From my experience and in my observations and learning, I think building resilience and fortitude is essential for a well balanced and authentic individual. However, one must be sure that the path they are about to embark on is one that can be managed and one that is constructively challenging. For instance, to stay in an abusive relationship or in a job that is damaging to one's mental or physical health would be foolish. On that I'm sure we can all agree. But in a world where we are so quick to demand resilience and perseverance in our younger generations, a less discerning individual might mistake slugging out a destructive job or relationship or just "getting on with it" as building resilience. This is not the case. No great military leader would ever enter into a battle that they knew they could not win. To do so would be to throw away the lives of their warriors for no reason at all. This lesson can be applied to our everyday lives also. Don't ever feel obliged to persevere with a destructive or damaging environment simply just to "build resilience". Set your goals/objectives, plan your route/path to the goals and then pick your battles along that road. 

In Japanese culture "Gambaru/Ganbaru" is a very important concept. It translates as 'do your best'; but in Japan this means so much more than just arbitrary encouragement. Gambaru really means 'see your endeavour through to its conclusion despite any hardship'. It is an integral part of traditional Japanese budo (the martial way). Charging headlong into any and all challenges is not a sure fire way to build resilience or to demonstrate Gambaru. To do so would be to burn yourself out and potentially damage your mental/physical health. In the case of warriors/soldiers, to do so would surely mean death. Impetuousness is not a trait of one who follows a superior way. So you see it is important to apply discernment to your Gambaru. In budo we call this the "Shinshin Shingan", the 'eyes and heart/mind of God'. This means having the ability to see the true nature of things, to see the bigger picture and to think and act strategically. Training through pain and injury, "manning up" or just "getting on with it" is not true resilience or Gambaru: it's plain short-sightedness. 

So strive for the lofty goals, be whoever you want to be and see your goals through to their end. But apply wisdom and the shishin shingan so that you can skilfully navigate the challenges and obstacles that come your way and to preserve your health along the way. This is a hidden aspect of Goshinjutsu (self-defence).

Gambaru!
 

M.

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Desire in Practice

Recently I was having a discussion with some fellow Bujinkan students about Budo and what it means. We arrived at the conclusion that it means something different to everyone as everyone's experience within martial arts is different. This made me reflect on my own experience within the Bujinkan as well as life experience and what Budo means to me as well as how I practice it.

 

Budo is often translated as "martial way" or "the way of martial arts" or some relative approximation of these things. It is important to remember that "martial" is an anglicized derivative of the Latin word "Mars"; the Roman god of war. As such the word "martial" really doesn't have any roots in Japanese. The word "bu" is translated as such because it's the closest approximation in English that we have. But like all things Japanese there's a lot more intricacy and subtlety to "bu" than the English translation allows. Wendell E.Wilson notes: 

 

"The oriental concept is actually much different from the Western concept. The character bu is constructed from the characters meaning “arms of war” or “violence,” and “to stop, prohibit, or bring to an end.” Therefore, bu is more accurately translated as “to stop violence,” or perhaps “to bring about peace.” Thus budo, bujutsu and bugei might more appropriately be known as the “arts of the peacemaker.” The warriors of China and Japan saw their skills as tools for maintaining the peace rather than indulgences in a love of war. And although warfare was sometimes necessary to restore peace, peace was always the ultimate goal". - (Wilson 2010)

 

So it can be argued that Budo can be translated as "the way of bringing an end to violence". For me, this manifests as inner violence; being unkind or violent with ourselves mentally and emotionally. Is your growth and development as a human being hampered or impeded by an inner struggle or an inner conflict? Budo can be a remedy for that conflict. Budo is the path that we take to understand ourselves better both intrinsically and extrinsically. 

 

When I train in a dojo, I operate from a different space than if I was to train in a gym. If a dojo were just to train physical technique it would be called a "jutsu-jo" rather than a "dojo". Technique and from can be drilled anywhere (and they should!) but the dojo is a place to practice bujutsu and budo together. Budo is a way to practice self-awareness and self-reflection in an effort to improve as a human being and to improve society. One can be a very proficient technician but without the proper heart and intention, the arts are liable to corruption and misappropriation. This is why a mirror is placed on the kamidana; to encourage self-reflection and to remind the student that the dojo is a place of honesty, growth and learning. In the early days of training I often sought to understand these abstract lessons without the necessary experience. As such it was a futile exercise. Now I'm beginning to understand that the real lessons found with martial arts can only be attained through honest, peaceful and diligent hard work. 

 

I apply this same approach to my musical practice. Before I developed a perspective on Budo, I attempted to "get good" at music as quickly as possible. Little did I realise that I was cheating myself by rushing too far ahead. Only recently have I begun to approach music with an honest mind and heart. Now I practice the form of music (scales, theory, arpeggios, harmony etc) as I would approach kihon (basics); with attentiveness and sincerity. I'm only now beginning to mature as a musician because of honest reflection on my limits and shortcomings. 

 

Alan Watts commented a lot in his lectures on the nature of desire within Buddhism. He tells the story of the Zen student who comes to his master expressing his frustration in his practice. He tells his master of his desire to quiet his mind but try as he might he just can't seem to. His master explains that his desire is the problem, and he must simply abandon his desire for enlightenment and all will be well. So the student, excited with this new insight and eager to engage in a new state of 'desirelessness' happily trots off to his practice. Sure enough, as the Zen master expects, the student returns and laments to his master that his frustration has now exponentially grown since he now desires not to desire.

You may have heard the saying, "we suffer because we desire". I sincerely believe this to be the case. I believe from my own practice of music, martial arts and meditation that desire can be a huge stumbling block to progression. How often as musicians, do we rush through our practice material because we're assured by the wider community that it's a 'must know'? Or how many times in our martial arts practice do we brush past the basic steps of a waza (technique) in order to attempt to execute the end product? When we focus on the end product, we fail to properly digest all the material that helps us navigate the process. As the old martial arts cliché goes: "with one eye on the destination you have only one eye left with which to make the journey". This can be observed in music when a student rushes through technical exercises such as scales and arpeggios without digesting the harmonic context that these concepts should be applied. The same can be seen in martial arts, when a student attempts to affect the structure of the opponent, without first understanding their own structure and how to use basics movement principles to affect structural change.

In all aspects of our lives, the desire to be something, to achieve something or to possess something creates a conflict within us. By desiring, we create a vacuum that needs to be filled. And just as nature seeks to fill a vacuum so too does our ego seek to fill the vacuum that we create for ourselves. This conflict arising from who we are vs who we want to be, or what we have vs what we don't have, or what we've done compared to what we haven't done, can be extremely distressing, especially in such a world so focused on appearances.

Reflecting on my experiences as an artist, I have come to the conclusion that one of the biggest obstacles to 'getting good' is the desire to get good! So my advice, for anyone struggling in their practice, with their craft or with their self-worth; is to slow down and go back to basics. Try not to worry so much about where you want to be and just focus on the task at hand. You'll be surprised at the amount of progress that can be made by operating like this. Getting good will take care of itself. Just keep going!

M.

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Virtuoso

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Virtuoso

In my last post I talked about The Tao and how artists can benefit from getting 'with it'. The Tao Te Ching is the great book of Taoism and in this post I'd like to talk about the Te (pronounced "De"). Te is a difficult word to translate into English. It is most similar to our word for virtue and most scholars agree that this is it's best approximation in Western language. In this context virtue is to be understood as integrity or moral character. Lao Tzu says:

 

 

"Superior virtue is unvirtue. Therefore it has virtue. Inferior virtue never loses sight of virtue. Therefore it has no virtue. Superior virtue is non-assertion and without pretension. Inferior virtue asserts itself and makes pretensions".

 

True virtue, according to Taoist philosophy is a virtue that is unaware of itself. It makes no pretensions and has no airs and graces, nor does it seek itself. Inferior virtue, makes a concerted effort to appear virtuous, needing to remind itself and others of its virtue, therefore it is not virtue.

As artists, particularly performing artists, we often like to assert and make pretensions. We seek fame and fortune, adoration and applause, recognition for our struggle and our sacrifices. We desire to be understood. Oh woe is me!! 

 

We often seek to be seen as virtuous by striving to be 'virtuosos', a highly regarded individual in music and fine art derived from the Latin 'virtus' meaning courage and excellence. To be considered a virtuoso is to be considered a master of one's art in modern parlance, particularly in regards to technical ability. We encourage and revere virtuosity in performers and in music education it has become popular for virtuosos to travel the world giving workshops and clinics to young aspiring musicians in how to be a virtuoso and thus literally; how to be virtuous. In Taoism, this is inferior virtue. By desiring to be virtuoso, never losing sight of it, by asserting virtuosity itself as a virtue, we defeat all virtue. 

 

So ask yourself. Do you want to be a great musician? Or do you want to be seen as a great musician? Do you consider yourself a humble musician? Or do you act humble because it's seen as a virtue? Real humility has no idea of itself. So acting humble and being humble are too entirely different things. We often hear masters say "It's just as much about what you don't play" or " It's the space between the notes that really count" or many words to this effect. This has the most obvious meaning in the sense of simpler melodies and rhythms are generally perceived as more pleasing to the listener. But there's a more subtle meaning to these statements. The deeper meaning is that there is no vulgar display of mastery if true mastery is present because true mastery is unaware of itself. This is what Miles Davis meant by "I'm always listening to what I can leave out".

 

Therefore Tao Te is the 'Way of  Virtue', to act without acting, or to perform without performing.

 

So would you still like to be a virtuoso? :)

 

 

 

 

 

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The Tao of Art

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The Tao of Art

A new post! Hurrah! Having successfully navigated the psychological minefield that is a music degree, I've found more time for myself and thus more time for reflection and introspection. I've been listening to a lot to the great Bodhisattva Alan Watts lately. Anyone who is familiar with Watts' work will be aware that he is a scholar well learned in Eastern mysticism and philosophy. Listening to Watt's lectures on Taoism and the works of Lao Tzu, I've come to realise that my journey as a musician and my works and thoughts on music education have deep parallels to the Tao (translated most commonly as "the Way").

 

Many years ago, due to my interest in martial arts, I became familiar with Eastern philosophical concepts such as Taoism, Confucianism and Zen Buddhism. I was eager to learn about these traditions as I assumed that any self-respecting martial artist needed to know about these things to be taken seriously. Youthful exuberance lends itself well to many things but philosophical musing is probably not one of those things! As such I found the lessons within these traditions to be abstract, uninformative and without context. Thus I put these things aside, returning only to them in recent times. Of course with retrospect I now know that I lacked the necessary life experience to provide a context for these philosophies. When I now pick up the Tao Te Ching, I find within it's pages, countless accounts of eternal wisdom and many lessons that the modern day musician, or any artist of that matter, could potentially find invaluable.

 

What is the Tao? The Tao is the totality of the universe and all that occurs within it, from the formations of galaxies to the interaction of human beings. It is nameless, formless and the nature of all things. The 'how' is not important, the 'is' is the important part. Our bodies breathe and make our heart beat, not by the power of our will, but involuntarily. This is the Tao, the natural order of things. It is in aligning with the Tao that a person becomes unlimited and capable of anything, just as the athlete can perform powerful feats of athleticism by harnessing the power of the respiratory and cardiovascular systems, but is unable to control them. The bird and the sailor do not control the wind, but by aligning themselves with it, they can travel wherever they please. The Tao is with everything and thus with everything is the Tao.

 

Duality is a very important concept in Taoism. We see this expressed as the Yin-Yang. Up is only up because it is not down. Good is only good because it is not evil. They may seem mutually exclusive at first, but without one the other cannot exist. The teacher can only teach in the presence of a student, and thus a student can only learn from a teacher. Without students, we would have no need of teachers, yet a teacher can also be a student and can often learn from the student. Often times the student is his own teacher. Just as up can become down and left can become right with a simple change of perspective, students become teachers and good can become evil. Within everything is the possibility to become what it is not, thus it is the same, it is totality, it is unity. This is the Tao.

 

Aligning yourself with the Tao essentially means getting out of the way of yourself. The very thing that is stopping you from becoming exactly what you want to be is your desire to be it! There is a lot of rhetoric that gets bandied about in the New-Age Psychology/Spirituality movement regarding the ego and how we can only achieve Nirvana/Samadhi/Self-Actualisation/Individuation/Enlightenment (take your pick!) by letting go of the ego. What most fail to realise is that by desperately clinging on to your desire to lose the ego, you fuel the ego even more, by creating a desire to be someone which you are not! It is the eternal game of chase your own tail, akin to trying to bite your own teeth! This is what Karma really is, it is not the law of cause and effect, it is the state of being where we are directly responsible for our current state of being. In other words, you are the way you are because of the way you are. Do you want to be a famous musician? A great martial artist? A legendary dancer? Then stop trying to be. By trying to be something we create an acute sense of what we are not. Alan Watt's uses the phrase "identity necessarily involves difference. That is to say I am what I am because of what I am not". This is the Yin-Yang.

 

For many years I struggled with the weight of expectation and desire to be a great guitarist. For the sake of my happiness, I poured everything I had into learning everything I thought I needed to learn in order to be a great guitarist. 6 years of music education, thousands of hours of practice, 7 years of real-world experience, yet still I felt I wasn't improving. Finally after much reading, musing and meditation I finally let go of the desire to be a great guitarist. In doing so I became so much happier. Now i'm not saying in doing so I became a great guitar player, but I did become happy in not being a great guitar player, because I let go of the depressing baggage that went along with the desire to be great and in doing so opened myself up to the possibility of actually becoming great. Which when you boil it down, is essentially the same thing! This is the Tao. Will I become great? It doesn't matter. That's the beauty of the Tao. I'm free to enjoy the journey of music rather than worrying about the end product. This is why the Tao is called "the Way" and not "the Destination". An old martial arts proverb reads: "With one eye on the destination, we have but one eye left to make the journey".

 

Richard Wagner spoke of the Tao when he said:

 

 "I have very definite impressions while in that trance-like condition, which is the prerequisite of all true creative effort. I feel that I am one with this vibrating Force, that it is omniscient, and that I can draw upon it to an extent that is limited only by my own capacity to do so".


Strauss speaks of it from a more spiritual point of view:

 

"When in my most inspired moods, I have definite compelling visions, involving a higher self-hood. I feel at such moments that I am tapping the source of Infinite and Eternal energy from which you, I and all things proceed. Religion calls it God. 


Grieg commented:

 

"We composers are projectors of the infinite into the finite". 


No great composer, artist or craftsman ever created something innovative with the desire to create something innovative. That's a paradox. How can one try to do something that's never been done before? It's impossible, because you don't know what you're trying to do! So you see it's the desire to be something, that immediately extinguishes the potential to be it. This is what Zen masters mean when they say "Empty your Cup". An empty cup is Mushin, without-mind, the place where the potential for anything is facilitated by the presence of no-thing. This is the state where the masters operate from, the place of non-detachment, of formlessness, of infinite potential. By the principle of the Tao, they can create anything because they operate from a state of no-thing. In a state of no-thing there is no judgement, no comparison, no guilt, no expectation and no doubt. Can you imagine creating a piece of music or any art for that matter, free from all these restrictions? This is the space that Stephen Nachmanovitch calls "Free Play". Where there is no attachment to outcome, there is only play. Infinite expression, unburdened and unshaped by desire. This is what true art really is. In martial arts, there is a posture called Shizen. Shizen means nature, or natural state. It is a posture of neutrality, neither offensive nor defensive and is perfectly symmetrical. Shizen offers no intention and has no desire, it is unreadable, unknowable and therefore completely unpredictable. It is from Shizen that the master martial artist expresses his/her inspiration. Ready to receive anything in every way possible.

 

 

In every art form, every once in a while an innovator comes along that completely redefines the

paradigm, unshackling their creativity and leaving their contemporaries for dust. Bruce Lee, Igor Stravinsky, Jackson Pollock, Louis Armstrong. The list is endless. But what did they all have in common? Formlessness, malleability, fearlessness. They aligned themselves with the Tao, emptied their minds, and abandoned all expectation and attachment to outcome. So how can you be like this?

 

1: Abandon Labels.

 

(Not record labels. But maybe we should abandon them too?) When teaching my students, I always advise them to abandon any labels that they define themselves with. Labels are useful when we're looking for work or advertising our services, but that's where it should end. As soon as you begin to define yourself with a label, you also define yourself by what you are not. Attaching a label means creating a beginning and an end, which in turn serves only to limit you. Guitarist, drummer, song-writer, vocalist, arranger, composer? It doesn't matter. These are professional titles only, you weren't born a musician. It's just a word, stop desperately clinging to this identity. Remember identity necessarily involves difference, which means what you are not becomes just as important as what you are. And that's a minefield of neurosis what you don't want to be in!

 

2: Stop Getting In Your Own Way: 


Kenny Werner instructs his students to repeat the mantra "be kind to yourself" on a daily basis. This means stop being hard on yourself when things don't go your way. You are your own worst enemy, your own worst critic and things will never be as bad as they seem in your own mind. Stop worrying about everything. Getting in the way all the time means you have absolutely no time to enjoy the experience. Present moment awareness is the key to a fulfilling experience. In a musical situation this arises most often when a player is required to improvise. Players are often so gripped by the need to sound good that they don't even really hear what they're playing. If the sound they play doesn't match their expectation, they wince and writhe in agony! The 'mistake' becomes so painful that the fear of another grows exponentially and the situation deteriorates rapidly. A mistake is only a mistake if it was intended otherwise and if there was no intention all along, then there are no mistakes! This is real improvisation. As such real improvisation can only emerge from a state of no-mind or a state of non-doing. Lao-Tzu called this wei-wu-wei and it is the perfect representation of the Tao.

 

3: Get Peaceful


The state of non-doing or no-mind can only be cultivated with practicing stillness. Stillness can be practiced with meditation, surrounding yourself with nature or engaging in any activity that doesn't require a lot of conscious thought. Playing with children or animals are other ways of cultivating this. The most important thing is to enjoy the moment! Experience is all that matters. Let go of expectation. The Tao can also be interpreted as "to act without acting" in the sense of performing without a performance. We see this reflected in the saying "dance like no one is watching". This is a great way of getting into an experience, without the burden of expectation.

 

4: Form Is Only One Half of The Whole


I see this problem in music and martial arts. Form is there to facilitate, not encapsulate. Too many artists stagnate because they believe the form and the technique is the art. Technique and form are just tools. Just as vocabulary is the vehicle for poetry and scales are the vehicle for melody, form is the vehicle for art. In Greek esoteric tradition, inspiration was carried by the Muses from the divine realm to man. But the Muses were brought into being by the union of Mnemosyne (Wisdom, Memory) and Apollo (Skill, Technique, Form). Therefore inspiration could not be imparted to mankind without the union of form and wisdom.

 

To conceptualise all of the above and to put it into lay mans terms a little: Stop taking life so seriously, just go with the flow and enjoy the ride! If you can learn to do this, to trust that all will be well, you'll find that life has a funny way or working out for you. This is the Tao.

 

Namaste!

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On Confidence

Recently in a classroom discussion with some of my peers, a fellow student asked the question? What exactly is confidence? "I know what it means", he said "but what exactly is it"? I thought this was a very intriguing question.
I believe confidence is tantamount to preparation. Certainly within a musical environment, one can only confidently approach a gig, concert or recital if one is prepared and practiced. If we're are not prepared or practiced in something, this can often allow fear and anxiety to creep in. Kenny Werner says,

"Enslaved by the ego, we are encased in fear. What are the consequences of playing poorly? Nothing really, compared with the consequences of, say, jumping of a cliff. Yet if you ask some classical musicians to improvise, they might behave as if you were pushing them off the cliff".
-Werner (1996:51)

It's well known in the music scene that some classical players have certain shortcomings in the area of improvisation. But why is this? What leads them to such a lack of confidence in one area of music when they excel at some others? Quite simply; practice. Classical musicians simply don't practice improvising enough to be confident at it, yet they excel in areas such as technique, sight-reading, dynamics and expression. Most notably because these are the things that they practice every day. When Barry Green, educator, musician and author of 'The Inner Game of Music' and 'The Mastery of Music' talks about confidence, he envisions the great jazz trumpeters of  the 20th century; Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and Dizzie Gillespie. Imagine if we could bottle and sell some of what those guys had! Louis Armstrong was one of the first soloists in early jazz music and one of the first to begin improvising the melodies of popular songs.
 Green states:

"Confidence is no accident. It is based on preparation, momentum and, most important, experience. It is something that you acquire. And like a snowball as it rolls down the hill, it gets bigger and bigger".
-Green (2003:189)

What made these giants of jazz so great, particularly in the area of improvisation, was that they practiced it constantly.

The old adage comes to mind: practice makes perfect. But this is slightly misleading. Mindful practice is what truly makes perfect. Or at least as close to it as honest mindful practice can make!

I've been playing guitar and writing music for nearly 15 year. But if I'm honest with myself I've hardly ever practiced. I've studied a lot of music. But I rarely practice it. The reason for this being (which I've only recently discovered) is that I wasn't totally honest with myself, regarding my shortcomings and my weaknesses. I would gloss over material that was challenging, play it a few times and assure myself that I had practiced it, eager to move onto something less challenging to satisfy my ego and self-esteem. I was in fact indulging in what Werner calls "fear-based practicing". Musicians often skim over material very quickly because they are under so much pressure to learn all the things necessary to make them great players. They're in a rush to get "good" that they never really absorb the material properly. Werner calls this negative practice. He states:

"No practicing at all would be preferable to that kind of negative practice! You move on because you think there isn't enough time to learn all the things you need to become a great player. You move on, leaving the previous material in an unusable state. And you never become a great player. Your mind has played a trick on you."
-Werner (1996: 61)

This is one of the reasons why I was never a particularly confident player. Because I was in such a rush to get good, I missed all the things that would have actually helped me get good! This is an invaluable lesson that I hope to pass on to students and peers alike.

References:

Werner, K. (1996) Effortless Mastery, Liberating the Master Musician Within, Jamey Abersold Jazz, New Albany.
Green. B. (2003) The Mastery of Music, Ten Pathways to True Artistry, Broadway Books, New York.

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On Education

 

So it's been a while since I've posted here. College has been incredibly distracting! As part of my final year project, I'm looking to develop myself as a music educator. So I thought it would be a good idea to resurrect this blog with the intention of sharing some of my thoughts related to this project and also to try and connect with other musicians/educators who might have an interest in discussing such things. I've done quite a bit of research over the last few years into the topic of fear and ego in relation to music and music performance. It's a topic that a lot of musicians can relate to and it's something that a lot of music educators write about. So while I will update this blog with all that academic (boring!) stuff about music pedagogy/education  etc. I'll also be inclined to share some philosophical ideas that have occurred to me over the course of my musical journey. So today I'll begin with something in that vein.

 

What is education? A quick visit to the Oxford Dictionary yields the following results: 

 

"The process of  receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or education".

 

"Information about or training in a particular subject". 

 

Very pragmatic descriptions, wouldn't you agree? It also describes education as:

 

"An enlightening experience".

 

An interesting evaluation. Certainly not in the same vein as the two statements mentioned earlier. It's certainly a more abstract statement. 

 

Stephen Nachmanovich argues that education comes from the verb "to educe". Which our friend in Oxford inform us means:

 

"Bring out or develop something that is latent or potential".

 

There's something much more holistic in that statement that resonates with me on a deep level. Is there a difference between a teacher and an educator? I believe so. By Oxford's definition a teacher simply passes on systematic instruction in a defined, institutionalised way. An educator on the other hand would be responsible for identifying and cultivating potential latent ability within the student.

Nachmanovich, in his book 'Free Play' states:

 

"To educe means to draw out or evoke that which is latent; education then means drawing out the person's latent capacities for understanding and living, not stuffing a (passive) person full of preconceived knowledge". -Nachmanovich (1990)

 

Kenny Werner, author of the highly recommended 'Effortless Mastery' elaborates:

 

'It is common practice to give weekly assignments rather than support the student in understanding the material. I firmly believe that educators should rethink this approach. Burying the student in assignments will often sink him. But since many were taught this way, as a result, many teach this way. Fear and anxiety are passed from one generation to the next'. -Werner (1996: 65)

 

I believe this is why so many people fail at education. Be it primary, second level or higher education. The system is far too focused on the systematic instruction of information, like the programming of an automaton. This leads to indoctrination and an inflexible approach to learning. How many of us can say we've been properly educated, as opposed to simply taught?

Thus the education of musicians and artists is of prime importance, in contrast to the mere teaching of technique or theory. Educing the fearless, innovative dare-to-dream creativity of a musician is surely the route of progression for the next generation of educators, not only in music but in all walks of life. Otherwise, we risk simply propagating the fear, the anxiety and the downright dread of simply not being good enough.

 

Here's a link to a TED talk by the excellent educator Ken Robinson. It's a wonderful lesson in how the current system is destroying the creativity of our kids. It's 20 minutes long and well worth a watch. 

 

Enjoy! And feel free to leave a comment.

 

 

References:

 

  1. Nachmanovich, S. (1990) Free Play, Improvisation in Life and Art, Jeremy P. Tarcher Inc., Los Angeles

  2. Werner, K. (1996) Effortless Mastery, Liberating the Master Musician Within, Jamey Abersold Jazz, New Albany.

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