Monday, November 16, 2009

The Avocational Singer Lied

The Avocational Singer was making dinner tonight, and she realized that, despite her vow to be real and truthful on her blog, she ended up telling a lie yesterday.

Technically, it was not really a lie.  It was an honest conclusion she came to, completely forgetting as she wrote, about some of her deeply held beliefs about learning and how these beliefs and principles might apply to the situation.

Yesterday, in the blog post entitled "An Incomplete Education ... or ...What Should I Know About and Why Should I Know it?" she came to the conclusion that she should forget about pursing impulsive whims and be responsible and practical about her accumulation of knowledge.

But the Avocational Singer had forgotten in that moment that years ago she read something in a child-rearing book that inspired her:
"Child initiated activity is more beneficial to learning than adult initiated activity." 
At the time, she understood that to mean something like this: that when the adult thinks the child should be learning how to write their alphabet, and tries to impose this when the child is resisting because he is extremely interested in playing with his toy cars, it just might be because there's something about motion and wheels turning that the child needs to learn right now.  If the child is forced to learn what the adult wants, the lesson may not sink in, and the child will be restless until he gets to learn the lessons that are calling him.  Something like that, anyway.

So, Avocational Singer raised her children this way, and they actually came out to be really smart, thinking people.

This morning, based on yesterday's decision to focus on learning what was important, Avocational Singer said, "No, I shall not go read about 12-tone singing!" and dutifully took out her Italian for Dummies book to commence studying some basic practical knowledge that will help her singing.

Yet, like the little boy with the toy cars, Avocational Singer found it hard to concentrate.on the basic Italian phrases, and the little flash cards she was making.  She found herself thinking about Alban Berg (that composer they had been discussing on the singer message board) and also about the paintings by Kandinsky she had looked at in the online Guggenheim exhibit.  She also thought about the comments back and forth that had been so stimulating  between her and the Artist Friend who had posted the exhibit link.  Her Artist Friend had told her that, although there was not quite an "equivalent" movement in painting such as the 12-tone movement effected in music, Avocational Singer was on the right track when she was sensing some kind of connection between the Kandinsky paintings and the music of Berg.  The Artist Friend even went so far as to do a little research and suggest another painter, Gustav Klimt.

The Avocational Singer got so excited about all this that, the Italian For Dummies book still laying open in her lap,  she ventured out on the Internet and started reading biographies of Alban Berg to see if she could find out what painters one would look at while learning music by Berg.  Lo and behold, she was excited to read that Alan Berg and Gustav Klimt were indeed in the same circle of friends.  And indeed, she was excited to learn that, just like the composer's music "combined frank atonality with passages that use more traditional harmonies", the paintings of the painter "constitute a sublime frontier between traditional and modern, figurative and non-figurative.".  So, it was as she suspected:  Studying the painting of the same time period may indeed be a valid way of gaining insight into the music.  The Avocational Singer decided on the spot that she is going to include studying painting as part of her "cross-training for singers" approach!.

Well, what happened next caused the Italian for Dummies book to slide off her lap on to the floor.  The Avocational Singer began to have a desire to spend some time listening tp the music of this composer, Alban Berg, which they had been discussing on the singer message board.  She also began to wonder, "Is there some little piece of music that I might try out, just to experience a little of this period and know a little more about all this?"

The Avocational Singer ended up purchasing some mp3s of the composer's "Seven Early Songs," which at some point she might want to try out. (Maybe they'll show up in Frescamari's Practice Room someday and the Avocational Singer can link this post to them!)

Yes, the post from yesterday about being responsible has some valid points, and yes, the Avocational Singer really does need to start learning Italian.  But she never wants to lose sight of the fact that there are forces working in our journeys that are greater than practicality and shoulds and musts!  There may be something to following the direction of the heart at times.  In this case, the Avocational Singer is thinking that maybe instead of starting with Italian for Dummies, she may want be starting with German for Dummies instead!

No comments:

Post a Comment