Saturday, 13 October 2007

Drowning My Mistakes in Base Tone Slap

The subject of music in schools as an educational tool was mentioned today in Question Time (BBC4). As usual, a hidden presumption was that creativeness is being artistic & musical. All seemed to think that this is in contradiction to learning to read, write, do math and concentrate on the educational targets. I view creativeness as applying the power of association to come up with something surprising. Thus, not every piano player is creative. Some are no more than good technicians. Artisans and artists are to be found not only in what is commonly conceived as creative occupations. I have encountered very creative mathematicians, engineers and programmers.

Anyhow, I never considered myself creative in spite of my mother’s efforts in my childhood. However, I do regret not sticking to my guitar studies. I was not really encouraged to persevere. only much later I discovered my trait to doggedly peruse anything I start. My wife, on the other hand, is a good example of a person who has mastered the use of both sides of her brain. She obtained an engineering degree in electronics, an MBA and taught herself programming. I do not know how she goes about her day job but I can see the results of the many hobbies she peruses. The latest is gardening. She combined her analytical and research capability’s to study the subject, and then went about creating a garden that is not your bog-standard English house garden. We do not have a big patch but it is stunning. I hope she will place many pictures of the garden in her blog.

As part of my mid-life crisis I decided to try and improve my left mind ability. This blog is part of this attempt. Today I attended an African Drumming workshop. I only recently discovered I like Drums. I remember (when I was about 10 years old) a chapter of the Muppets where a drummer was Kermit’s guest. He held a drumming competition with Animal. It didn’t grab me. I got hooked about 5 years ago when I saw the Kodo group in a parade in Copenhagen. Since I came to Wendover I encountered a few times groups paying African drums. The Wendover Parish Council even organizes an event for kid on the Manor Waste where they experience African Drumming. So today I had a hands-on experience.

I enjoyed the workshop but not only because of the drumming. There is a certain pleasure in being part of a group all pulling in the same direction. Moreover, no one noticed my many mistakes as the group sound covered up my ineptitude. It is an interesting mirco-model for me to apply to other situations.

For instance, The group drumming model could be applied to another issue discussed today on Question Time: the court order on the showing of Al Gore film about climate change. The analogy works as a ‘creative activity’ such as drumming (or science) could drown both the lousy drummers and the eccentric ones who want to explore new thoughts.

Such... is the respect paid to science that the most absurd opinions may become current, provided they are expressed in language, the sound of which recalls some well-know scientific phraseJames Clerk Maxwell (1831-79)

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