I’ve just completed a two and a half day workshop in northern New South Wales. For a change, the workshop wasn’t about yoga or relationships; it was entitled ‘ Reading Music For Singers’.
I’m proud of myself that I enrolled for and participated in a seminar for which I had virtually no background knowledge. Granted I sing once a week in a community choir and have done so for three years. But what I was learning this weekend was music theory, a field in which I’m a raw beginner. I wonder if I’d have been as keen to join in the course if I’d known I was going to learn a whole new vocabulary – one that includes semibreves, minims, crotchets, quavers – and then translating words like these into music.
It takes courage to tackle any subject as a beginner. Especially for those of my age, with all the baggage that reflects our low societal expectations of seniors. All the more reason to challenge the opinions and beliefs that as we age our brains are more limited in learning ability.
We’ve heard how doing sudokus and crossword puzzles is supposed to keep one’s brain supple, but I wonder if the skill sets for those activities really translate into real life.
Courtesy of what I learned from the joyful and skilled music teachers, Imogen Wolf and Brian Martin, I can widely apply what I’ve learned this weekend: in my choir participation, in keyboard playing at home and even to just singing in the shower.
And, I’ve received a fresh reminder about how important it is to be compassionate and inclusive of first-timers when they show up for my yoga classes.