Something I love about life is that it presents paradoxes. There's always a balance between things that are completely opposite, "adversaries" working in connection with each other. Today, I thought about the paradox of teachers being both under and over rated. My girlfriend of almost 4 years is an English teacher and she has often expressed her passion and love for the job, specifically dealing with how she can impact lives. This is a reason many of us are in agreement that "our" treatment of not just teachers but the education system itself has been detrimental to society as a whole. Increasing or changing standards without adapting the method or system and expecting it to work is kind of nonsensical. It reminds me of when Xbox wanted to create a new system without making it backwards compatible (able to play games from older systems). People thought that was insane, making all of their work and money spent on previous games worthless. The system has to not only give new possibilities but also address the old and keep it relevant, not completely getting rid of it. Granted, it is our elected officials that directly effect this, but we still have we power to speak up in our own way.
Now, as far as teachers teaching students, they are there to give information when a student needs it and help the student learn how to find the information, essentially teaching the student how to teach themselves. Any other work is basically guiding the student through this process. This is incredibly important because it gives the student an awareness of not only the information itself but the enlightenment of how to find more information outside of the school setting. Similarly, a music teacher helps you with technique so that putting together a solo is easier for you. After that is a guidance of how to up the level of playing. Without the teacher's presence, who knows if we would ever learn how to learn effectively, hence their extreme importance to our personal growth as students and people.
The thing is, once we are aware of how to teach ourselves, is the teacher needed? Here we have our paradox. It's obviously a back and forth. No matter how much we think we know, we will always be learning. My belief, that a teacher is there to awaken the teacher within ourselves, constantly shifts between finding what we know we can find ourselves, and having the humility to ask for help when needed. In today's culture people are used to being spoon fed information through news and technology, it's not often that they have to do research themselves. Without getting too deep in the subject, as musicians, it's our duty to both seek knowledge through our lessons, mocks and performances to better ourselves, but also be aware of and have confidence in your own ability to figure it out. That's how you come to find your personality and opinions in your music. So yea, teachers are super important, but just be aware that they both cannot teach you everything and are not needed for everything, give them a break once in a while. They may be trying to learn themselves.
About these Posts
Just some thoughts about how We, ourselves, are our best source of information and how we can become more aware of our thoughts.