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RE: learning about music: "Just let them play" Victor Wooten   You are logged in as Guest
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Piwin

Posts: 3164
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Schieper

quote:

learning does not need to take the form of a drill


Right. This would get us into cognitive science territory and I just don't have a handle on that ^^. I'd agree that there is learning going on even outside of drills, but ... can someone learn to do picado like PdL without doing drills? I would tend to think that you can't, but I don't know whether cognitive science is at a point where it could say anything about that. I guess the question is how does learning actually work at a cognitive level.

I had a discussion with one person who said learning means that your brain is receiving new external information, and that without that external input your brain cannot learn anything. He concluded that there wasn't any point in drills because you aren't adding any new information, just repeating information that the brain has already received. I was more of the opinion (but again, I'm out of my depth here) that there might be some sorts of processes in the brain that re-organise pre-existing information in ways that could still be considered "learning". Or at the very least, even if the brain needed new external information to learn, the fact that you receive the same bit of information over and over again can be in and of itself information... Or perhaps one way to look at it is that a drill excludes a lot of other information and allows you to get a cleaner signal on what you're trying to learn. Dunno, like if you're practicing a tennis serve over and over again, you may be getting new external information on a very small level of granularity, information that might be drowned out in the context of a match, where your focus also has to attend to other things. I honestly don't know.

And this is all assuming that there is no difference at all in "what" we learn. I.e. that our brains are equally predisposed to learn language, knitting, mathematics, guitar, etc. Which to me seems rather doubtful. But again, I'm out of my depth with the cognitive science stuff, and it probably shows! ^^

edit: Another aspect might also be "when" we learn it. In some areas drills might just be a way to make up for changes resulting from cognitive maturation. There's a lot there (about maturation) that still isn't known. For instance, I remember a study from a few years ago where they tried to determine whether there was a critical period for learning second language syntax. They found that there was a steep drop-off after 17/18 years of age. But they didn't know why there was this drop-off. I forget the exact words they used, but they speculated: perhaps it's because of changes in cognitive abilities due to maturation, or perhaps it's due to changes in social circumstances (you begin to have more responsibilities at that age, so less time for learning), or perhaps the fact that our societies have chosen that age to give more responsibilities to people is because we've observed over the years that this is where learning ability drops off (i.e. "ok kid, sorry but you're gonna suck at learning from now on, so might as well put you to work!" lol).

quote:

Now the question is if they are indistinguishable


There's a distinction to be made here between practitioners on the one hand and research nerds ^^ on the other, and what they both expect in terms of "indistinguishability". If you ask someone learning a foreign language what it would mean to reach a level where she's indistinguishable from a native, she'd probably say something like "it means that when I talk with native speakers, they can't tell that I'm not a native speaker". Researchers on the other hand often prefer a more granular level of analysis, and prefer to use detailed objective metrics that don't rely on the judgment of native speakers. These are usually referred to as "perceptual indistinguishability" (can a native speaker tell you're foreign) and "linguistic indistinguishability" (are you actually indistinguishable from native speakers according to objective detailed metrics).

Perceptual indistinguishability is certainly a lower bar (though of course, it's still an extremely high level of attainment!), but I think for a lot of people that's all they're aiming for really. And the "linguistic indistinguishability", while of interest for science, just doesn't matter to them.

If we make this comparison with flamenco guitar, I'd imagine a lot of practitioners would feel the same way: "if scientists can, upon close examination, still tell that I am not "native flamenco", I don't really care as long as I can fool native flamenco performers/audiences into thinking I am". Something like that.

quote:

Please take no offence


Not at all! I enjoy these discussions!

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"Anything you do can be fixed. What you cannot fix is the perfection of a blank page. What you cannot fix is that pristine, unsullied whiteness of a screen or a page with nothing on it—because there’s nothing there to fix."
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 23:08:25
 
kitarist

Posts: 1178
Joined: Dec. 4 2012
 

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

Damn Rob, thanks for sharing this story.

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Konstantin
Foro cante accompaniment practice tracks (zip file)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 4 2021 23:09:24
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Ricardo

quote:

Here is a concept that she clearly learned from my same “teachers” and gives some excellent examples for applying the concept.



She can’t be real!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2021 3:13:48
 
JasonM

Posts: 1565
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to RobF

quote:

To me, that’s what it’s all about. Doesn’t have to be about Flamenco, but that’s it, right there


Great story , Rob. We can all relate I’m sure.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2021 3:41:17
 
Richard Jernigan

Posts: 3015
Joined: Jan. 20 2004
From: Austin, Texas USA

RE: learning about music: "Just... (in reply to Piwin

quote:

ORIGINAL: Piwin
I had a discussion with one person who said learning means that your brain is receiving new external information, and that without that external input your brain cannot learn anything. He concluded that there wasn't any point in drills because you aren't adding any new information, just repeating information that the brain has already received. I was more of the opinion (but again, I'm out of my depth here) that there might be some sorts of processes in the brain that re-organise pre-existing information in ways that could still be considered "learning".


From personal experience I would adduce the example of solving a difficult problem in mathematics: specifically finding a proof for an important and beautiful theorem.

R. L. Moore and H. S. Wall at the University of Texas taught advanced mathematics by giving the students problems to solve and theorems to prove. There were no text and no lectures. Class time was taken up by students presenting their solutions, to be critiqued by the rest.

By "difficult" I mean something that took several months to accomplish. When I proved one such theorem Wall told me that in more than 20 years of teaching, only three students had succeeded. He also said he had never seen a proof that remotely resembled mine. Original solutions were not surprising. Their teaching method routinely resulted in originality.

For months I tried various strategies, and discarded them when they definitively failed. Definitive failure meant finding an example that proved a necessary step in the attempted strategy was impossible. As far as I knew, the attempted strategies were my own creation, not hints from external sources.

A special case of the theorem was easy to prove, but the general case proved resistant.
After months an idea occurred to me that overcame the difficulty. Before I perfected the logical proof, I had a stronger feeling than ever before that success was imminent.

When I put the finishing touches on the proof, there was a strong sensation of discovery, as though one had crested a mountain pass and was rewarded with a sweeping view of new territory.

The subjective experience was definitely one of learning something new by exploring, reorganizing and applying the basic knowledge of calculus learned in previous courses.

Friends and acquaintances, some of them distinguished mathematicians or scientists in other disciplines, have told of similar experiences. It seems to me they would be common to almost any creative activity.

RNJ
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Mar. 5 2021 21:08:23
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