Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Technique First or Joy?

When I started out in music, I was 10 years old and learning how to play saxophone. My teacher used to hit me on the head with a pencil whenever I made a mistake.

Now, I don't think he was being malicious (there was a kidding mood behind the pencil tap) but by hitting me he was reinforcing the idea that mistakes were bad and to be avoided at all costs. A few years later, I gave up the saxophone.

I lost all joy in playing. My point is simply that many music teachers are reinforcing an attitude that promotes perfectionism. And perfectionism is sure to kill any feelings of joy and happiness one may get from music making.

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