Thursday, February 9, 2012

Learn to learn

We all learn songs in the course of playing taiko. Maybe you get taught a song by slow gradual repetition or maybe it's explained to you in great detail. Maybe your whole group gets taught at once or maybe you get more one-on-one time. For pretty much all of us, we have one thing in common when it comes to learning new pieces - we get told what to do.

In other words, someone says, "play this, like this," and you do your best to do just that. But what would happen if someone taught you without any words? If someone just played a song and expected you to learn from just watching, how much would that freak you out? Why?

Ok, so maybe that's not likely, because even if someone didn't speak your language they could still infer things with gestures and vocal cues. Still, the initial scenario begs the question, how much do you rely on people to tell you what to do? How much do you expect to be handed the answers?

This really goes deeper than just learning a song. What else do you need to be told to you before you can figure it out? How much then do you stop looking for the answers and instead become expectant of others to teach you?

Don't expect to only be taught in the ways that work best for you. Find the opportunities to learn when you're not being explicitly taught, or you'll wind up plateauing early!

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