What’s that buzz about mastery? That it takes 10,000 hours to master anything?
And the point of being a ‘master’ is …?
I’m not dissing mastery. I’m just saying that – especially for adult learners – is it really about mastery? Or is it about having simple structures that help us express the richness of the lives we’ve created, and to share that richness with others?
When we, as adults, learn something new – what we want is fluency.
There seems to be an idea that ‘mastery’ means adding complexity – but fluency can be about getting more and more comfortable and creative with simplicity — so that we can express OURSELVES through it.
And expressing ourselves through it is what’s important.
We’re deluged with products that keep ‘improving’ – which often means that the product is ‘improved’ for new users – but if we’re long-time users, if we’ve achieved mastery of what it was, the ‘improvements’ often undermine our fluency, our mastery, our productivity.
This is not a complaint (OK … sometimes it is). It’s an observation.
I ‘get’ the impulse to improve something you created – and I’m way guilty of this as a composer. But as a user you can’t achieve the confident integration that allows YOU to effortlessly ‘speak’ fluently when the thing you’re speaking through keeps changing.
You CAN’T maintain mastery – or even fluency – when the thing you’re working to master keeps changing. No matter how much the THING ‘improves.’
Which is one reason I love the Blues.
It’s has a simple underlying structure that never changes.
IT never changes. YOU can change it as much as you want – but there will be no software upgrades, no halt in service. There will be no “new and improved” Blues structure that makes the old one outdated.
The Blues – as a fundamental structure — is a rare constant, a jungle gym that never rusts, that’s infinitely playable-on because it’s so simple and so strong that it maintains its form no matter what you do.
Once you learn it, it gives YOU the structure to be creative. From the first moment you play with the form, to the moment … 10,000 hours later … when you stumble into mastery.
And THAT’S one reason I love to teach the Blues.
My next “Blues: Harp-Style” 4-Week Online course begins July 29th and runs through the end of August 2013. I hope you’ll join me … whether you play harp or not.