This Friday, October 18th I will present a public lecture and performance. The talk is titled ‘Learning Out Loud’ and it is a foray into the how, why, and what of learning. As is typical for me, I am putting myself out there. I never ask others to do what I am not willing to do myself and the hope is that through demonstration of the process, others will see a glimpse of ‘yes I can’ and know that it is there for them too.
I will start with a talk, and then play the cello. All around the room will be the evidence of my learning. Sometime early in the summer I decided to start learning out loud – on a platform that housed a collective of creatives all doing and sharing projects to gain feedback and deepen their own reflective practice. Yapnet is that home. I decided I would document my practice in preparation for this lecture/performance in a similar vein to the ‘My100Days’ projects that you can see on social media sites. This was different. I was not doing it for any public show, nor was I spending ages preparing and presenting a polished few seconds to demonstrate that day’s work. When I did decide to include my process in this presentation, and I gathered all the days documentation: words, images, audio clips, video – I had over 40K words, and oh so many videos (116!) of short passages, describing how to figure it out, some squeaks, some successes – all progress. Day by day. The audio and video will be shared via QR codes so, if they would like, people can genuinely have a window into what I did.
Learning out loud is not something we see often – perhaps we think it is too close to failure. Well, you only get anywhere by putting one foot in front of the other and I for one am stepping out. When I began this journey I never intended to share beyond the Yapnet community. The reflections are all genuine – when it goes well, I say, and when it’s tough, I say that too.
This event is going to be a talk, a performance, and an interactive instillation (and an installation too).
And, one more thing – excitingly, I ordered 100 cello themed cupcakes for the event. 🙂 Cake and Kodaly – what could be better!?
Here’s a sneak peek of some of the documentation of my learning journey:
This was written on June 28th, 2019:
MY 100 DAYS: DAY 28
Well, you know what? That bit I worked so hard on? I learned the high sequence wrong. That’s right. How did I find out? I watched a video and thought, hey, is that famous person playing the wrong notes? His fingering didn’t match anything physically possible to play the pitches I thought there were. … So I went back to the score and looked really carefully at the music, where I’d written ‘D’ over the note was supposed to be a ‘B’. I sometimes have a hard time counting leger lines, and have to put a pencil or my finger to count which one I’m one because I lose track, and sure enough, I miscounted and learned that sequence wrong. Fortunately it’s easier the way it’s written, and makes more melodic sense (haha, not surprisingly!!) but that’s ok. It’s easy to change.
I played the following two pages lots. Well for a half hour, which was all my right arm would allow today. I had a suite of vaccinations this morning in prep for a trip to speak in Brazil in August, and the nurse did say that my right arm (they used both!) would feel like someone swung a bag of bricks into it. At least my thumb doesn’t hurt!! 🙂
Those two pages. Notes up high and coordination. It was all about getting the patterns in my mind and ear. All three finger, four string chords where between chords you move up to beyond where you are, but to a place that was held by one of the higher fingers. You know the Harry Potter giant chess game in one of the movies, where they must move to the right places and sometimes it’s a perilous leap?
That’s it. Until it’s stable, then I’ll be like a parkour princess.
I leave you today not with a recording, but with the new skill at the bottom of the seventh page of mvt3 where I bow the bottom string with one finger on it, and also hold down the next string with that same finger and the other two strings with the middle two fingers AND THEN pluck the top three strings with my pinky.