Hi everyone. If you’re reading my music blog it’s likely you have a strong desire to learn music, teach music…..or you’re one of my super-supportive friends. Since this is my first post I wanted to write about my approach to music education and what you can expect to find on my website.
I was at my daughter’s Freshman Open House Night this week. It was wonderful to meet her teachers, learn about the curriculum, and hear good things from them about how she’s been doing. One moment stood out to me though.
Here is an awesome snippet from one of my favorite bass players, Victor Wooten. It is taken from a larger article on music…
The whole article is great, but this Victor Wooten excerpt is absolutely fantastic. The last line of this snippet is my favorite!
Music as a language
Victor Wooten of Béla Fleck and the Flecktones isn’t a scientist, but he has thought a lot about the process of learning to play music. For him, introducing a child to music shouldn’t be different from the way a child begins speaking.
EMBRACING THE UNKNOWN
Ambiguity….the sometimes scary realm of the unknown. Everyone wants the certainty of familiar situations, scenarios, and processes. I like predictability and routine in my life as much as the next guy, but honestly how much certainty is there in life? There is always an element of unpredictability in life and that’s what keeps it interesting……..traffic, school, projects, relationships, love. In music education when we embrace ambiguity, we embrace an ever present reality of life and all the possibilities that can come with it.
A SURPRISING DISCOVERY
This afternoon one of my piano students said something that got me thinking. As she was improvising to a Blues song she said, while still playing, “I didn’t know I could do that”. She was experimenting with intervals of a third and discovered that she could use them as passing tones and also hop back and forth to different inversions of the chord tones. It struck me how awesome it was to watch a moment of pure discovery!!!
THE PROCESS OF FLUENCY
As my own children are going through school, I am becoming more aware of the process of fluency. In school it starts out with Kindergarteners, who can already speak, learning their letters, but it doesn’t stop there.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATIVITY
Creativity comes very naturally to all babies, toddlers, and children in general. They pretend to drive cars while sitting in cardboard boxes. They line up their dolls and pretend to teach them. They put band-aids on their teddy bears and nurse them back to health. They wear colanders and bowls on their heads to be astronauts. However, at some point along the process of ‘growing up’ that spark of creativity is often lost.
Here’s a wonderful article that was written by one of my adult students, Michelle Shail. She sees music as a metaphor for the business consulting she does and has some amazing insights! Enjoy!!!
SYMPHONIES OF TALENT
by Michelle Shail
Did you play an instrument as a child?
If you’re like me, childhood memories of recitals can be pretty rough. Sterile venues with a stage, a lone instrument and metal chairs filled with adoring but bored family members? I took up piano again after 30 years away from it. My daughter was taking lessons from her elementary school teacher and I noticed how different his approach was to music. She was learning sounds before note names, and the feel of music before the theory. This teacher — Paul — was teaching her music as a language, and she was enjoying the conversation.
THE WISDOM OF A CHILD
I had a student a few years ago who uttered one simple, yet profound, sentence that confirmed the educational direction I would be headed for the rest of my career.
Hi everyone. If you’re reading my music blog it’s likely you have a strong desire to learn music, teach music…..or you’re one of my super-supportive friends. Since this is my first post I wanted to write about my approach to music education and what you can expect to find on my website. Simply stated, I have a passion to provide fresh, creative music education resources that center around creativity, improvisation, and listening-based music learning.