Miss Pelican's Perch

Looking at my World from a Different Place

Apprentice Learning


Recently, I shared with a co-worker that one of my interests is drumming.   The first thing she said was:  “That’s great.  You should take professional lessons.”

I was taken aback for a couple of reasons.  First, she just presumed I needed lessons, and second, that only a “professional” instructor in a formal setting was the only legitimate way to go.

I do concede that I need to learn more since I don’t come from a musical background.   But I prefer to learn by watching, listening, and doing.  I learn in an “apprentice-style” relationship with other drummers.   I hang out at drum circles and jam with better, more experienced drummers.   They know things and generously share that knowledge with me.  Sometimes I just shut up and listen to their rhythms and try to imitate them.  The ego of the “professional” teacher is not present in the drum circle; they are just a bunch of musicians having a good time,  and I am along for the ride.

We have learned this way for thousands of years.  I see no reason to change that.

A WordPress Daily Post prompt: Apprentice

2 thoughts on “Apprentice Learning

  1. I like the way you have assessed the comment from the co-worker. What a thing to say! It’s very ‘western thinking’ to assume that one must become professional by taking lessons. The experiential learning of the drumming circle is far more intense and involving than learning set rhythms and methodologies from a teacher. Maybe it is that very intensity and immediacy that scares people who fall back into the intellectual need to be professional at all times.

  2. Many of the best musicians in the world never had a formal lesson and learned “on the streets” as some call it. It’s no less a legitimate way to learn than any other.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s