Thursday, November 10, 2011

Feldenkrais! Learning to learn.

This is not Missy Mazzoli.
Milestone: I have started composition lessons.

One assumption that I made young is that a songwriter cannot be taught, a songwriter is either born or not. One can go to school to learn to play pro football, but to write songs a person has to just know how to do it. To be a natural. Because who taught Paul Simon? Who taught Stevie Wonder? Who taught Joni Mitchell? Sufjan Stevens? Nobody, right? Right??

Wrong. Or right. It doesn't matter. It's totally unrealistic! I don't care how they did it anymore. This is how I'm doing it. I am learning to learn. In a conversation with singer/songwriter/composer Sasha Siem last Friday, she referenced the Feldenkrais Method. I'd never heard of it but she followed up by sending me a fascinating article from Feldenkrais' Learn to Learn booklet, and I've excerpted some curious bullet points here.
  • Do everything very slowly
  • Look for a pleasant sensation
  • Do not “try” to do well
  • Do not try to do “nicely”
  • Do not concentrate
  • We do not say at the start what the final stage will be
  • Do a little less than you can
 And then there's this. See? Looks like even Yoda took some lessons...

"Learn to do well, but do not try. The countenance of trying hard betrays the inner conviction of being unable or of not being good enough." - Moshe Feldenkrais

So I have my manuscript paper. I have some new exercises to help me forward. Some listening assignments. Some tactics. I'm going in, folks. I'm going in. And I'm not trying to do anything.

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