Monday, October 1, 2012


In the course of our taiko journey, we learn songs.  The vast majority of people learn songs through gradual and repetitive line-by-line sequencing, and/or having things explained in great detail.  You might have a song taught to you one-on-one, or in a small group, or as part of a large group.  Regardless of how it's taught to you, there's one thing all of those ways have in common - you are told what to do.

In other words, an instructor says "play this" and you play that.  They tell you to "move your arms here" and you move your arms there.  But what would happen if you had to learn a song from someone who didn't talk?  If someone expected you to learn a song from them without using words - you had to learn by watching and doing - would it freak you out?

So maybe it's not likely that someone wouldn't use any words at all, but suppose they didn't speak your language or they just taught without consideration for those who want some dialogue.  Most teachers would at least use hand gestures and vocal cues, at the very least. Still, let's go back to the original scenario.  Would you try even harder to learn the piece despite the lack of explanations, or give up until someone helped you through it with words? 

How much do you rely on people to tell you how to do something?  How much then do you stop looking for other solutions and instead become expectant on others to teach you through words?  To some degree, we are all guilty of this, to be sure.  Some people can take it to such a degree, however, where it literally stunts their growth.  If it's not told to them, they don't find it worth learning.

Although we have our preferred ways to learn things, you won't always be taught in the ways that suit you best.  Being able to learn a song quickly is a skill, but being able to learn through multiple teaching styles is sign of true ability.

1 comment:

  1. This could be an interesting activity to do within a group. Split up in pairs, and one person will try to teach the other person how to play something without speaking. I'm not sure what exactly it would accomplish (maybe help people improve their sight imitation?) but I people would learn something, and hopefully expand their perspective a little.