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ICON Seminar 5

Dartington, UK


Truth is lived, not taught

Xavier Barbeta

Last updated August 20, 2013

“The deity is within you, not in ideas and books. Truth is lived, not taught”.

My imagination leads me to a 16 years old Spanish boy walking along the dark street with lots of partitures in his hands. He takes the unique direction that his teacher can show with her light, without knowing that next to him there were other directions, other lights, other teachers, and other ways of making music…

The title quote above is from Herman Hesse’s “The glassed bead game”. My favourite writer.

For me this idea is important because I really think that in every pupil is there something special that we as teachers must help to come out and grow. If we changed “truth” for “music”, the quotation makes also sense. Even more sense…  Music cannot be taught, we can just help the pupil bring out the music he already has inside, and this can be done just in one-to one “teaching”.

I don’t believe in group teaching. After the seminar and having worked about the coaching non-judgmental point of view, I realise that coaching is a tool in many ways related or very close to what my source is trying to explain. To be a mirror for the pupil is exactly what he needs to know what he wants to be, or even better, what he is. But now after the seminar the approach is different, more deep and more clear, because I acquired some tools and saw some practical situations that made me think a lot about this. And because I saw that there were a lot of teachers thinking like me and sharing the same questions.

The freshness of some extracts of solo improvisations of Keith Jarret reminds me of the time when I decide to become a musician. I really felt that, by playing music, I could approach to this inner deity that I have just been talking about in the first point.  But at that time I was too much worried about fingers, technique and studying a program by heart, and nobody said me that I could already improvise or learn it. Sometimes I tried, but I got lost. I remember very well the moment where I thought: “At first you must solve all technical problems and learn all the works, and after that you will be able to improvise”.