Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Tuning Slide- The Mind of a Child

Weekly Reflections on Life and Music

The greatest invention in the world is
the mind of a child.
-Thomas Edison

Watch a child discover something new. They will explore every bit of it. They will turn it over, touch it, play with it, even put it in their mouth if we let them. Watch a child watching and you will see wonder expressed. Watch a child thinking and you will see wheels turning that we have long forgotten in our rush to adulthood. Life is always challenging, wonderful, strange, new, scary, hopeful, eternal.

Watch a musician learning a new song, attacking a difficult passage, playing a solo and nailing it. You will often see that same wonder being expressed. That sound, that passage, that solo has never been played like that before- and the musician knows it. To come to the music- and life in that way allows for the possibilities and surprises that result in awe and joy.

Just like kids.

I posed the question of having the mind of a child to the group from the Trumpet Workshop. (I hope to keep this going as a way of adding broader insights to the posts.)

Brandyn described it to me:
Kids don't think they just do. When I play and sound my best I'm not thinking about anything except the music. I literally just sing it in my head at times and it’s amazing. Just gotta keep the mind of a child and go for the music!
Cody said:
that when "Having the Mind of a Child" you don't let your ego interfere with the learning process. For example, in "The Inner Game of Tennis", Timothy Gallwey uses the example of the when a child learns to walk. When they fall, they don't get down on themselves.
It's a shame that we lose the mind of a child when we grow up. Not that we should continue to be immature or illogical, but that we should be ready and willing to let the creative juices of childhood flow. We should be ready and willing to kick back and let the moment happen.

Sometimes the best answer is the simplest that doesn't take a lot of complex interpretations. Sometimes it is just letting our lives become the lives they already are and not worry about what that might look like. It is in the trying that we achieve our first successes and not judging the goodness or badness of what we have done. Like Cody said- keep the ego out of it.

It works when learning to play music. It works when learning to live life.

If it works, why stop?

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