PLAYING AN INSTRUMENT IS LIKE A SUPERHERO QUEST
an interview with Meridee Winters
by Leah Young
Music is a Language
- - If someone wants to develop into a great musician, they need to master more advanced concepts and techniques. Sometimes those things are not exactly fun to learn at the moment we are learning, but satisfying later, after we are empowered by our hard work. How do you find that balance of having fun and also incorporating serious study? - -
When we have a young student, if they want to become a serious musician, that will probably emerge after some initial successes and we don't need to transfer our own ideals onto them. That will emerge on its own. They'll have to take the initiative for that. So we don't need to overlay that pressure early on. And what we do need to do is get results.
Music is a language. So, when we think about learning a language, first we learn a couple of words and then baby talk and start by just playing around. We would never set a child down and say, "You can't talk or make up stories until you can read all of these words perfectly.” But that's often done at early music lessons. The teacher says "Here is the C, here is the D, now play CDCD..." which is boring and also it's bad teaching because it's not the way language is taught.
My books, even though they have comics, are actually incredibly serious. I have a degree in elementary education. I really studied language arts and how the brain learns languages. I'm incredibly serious about those patterns, and play is important for the formation of an individual and our brain. Learning the patterns, which is the vocabulary of music, is essential to have music happening immediately as well as creative exploration.