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When to keep your mouth shut ?


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At the East Anglian Folk Festival I noticed a woman struggling with a tune on her anglo.

I kindly (I thought) went over and explained to her what button would be easier to use and make the tune easier to play.

She did not like it at all, in fact by the look she gave me, was insulted that I pointed this out to her and that she constantly used the incidental button I was pointing out.

In such a case I would be delighted if someone pointed out to me a better way of playing,I certainly would not be insulted by it. I feel I owe her an apology, but only for upsetting her.

I sometimes think you cannot win and it is better to keep your mouth shut and let them get on with it.

Al :(

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hi all

you have it in one al.I have pointed out easy ways to play tunes at tune ups etc

but have only met with a blank look.as for me if sombody pointed out away to make

a tune sound better,or a diffrent way to finger then i have learnt some thing.

keep it up al!!!

b hawes

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Some people won't learn nothin' ... or you can't teach some people anythin'...

 

I would have been very grateful if someone had helped me in the early days... so don't give up, you didn't deserve her disdain.

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I've taught guitar, on and off, for nearly 40 years, and it's certainly true that there can be a big difference in attitude between someone wanting help and someone beingoffered help.

 

Sometimes the best of intentions can go wrong because the person being helped is, without you knowing it, having their personal technique/interpretation/knowledge bubble pricked. I think there are many ways of approaching this. Here are two contrasting ones:

 

1. Go to the person and say, "I know a better way of fingering that tune, which is... (add your technical comment here)

 

2. Go to the person and say, "Nice tune. I was very interested in the fingering you used here (play the relevant bit of the tune here). I've always done it this way (demonstrate your version)...

 

I think (2) is slightly less bubble-pricking than (1) - but there's still no guarantee the bubble won't be pricked. Anyway, Al, if she didn't listen to your advice, she was very foolish!

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(Now my take and tidbit of advice is offered with full knowledge that I would do very well to practice this myself both on the giving and receiving end.)

 

Dialog:

 

Al: "Hello, That's a tough little run. It's got my fingers jumping all over." (Equal footing) "I don't know if this will help or not but someone (divestiture) once showed me that this button could also work." (Opportunity) "You have very nice....(Choose one: eyes, smile, posture, instrument, etc)". (Affirmation)

 

Unknown woman thinking: "What a charming man! I must try that button when I'm under less stress."

 

Meanwhile, Zen them, Al. "The sand of the sea once knew the mountain top."

 

Greg

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My philosophy on teaching/learning is this;

 

"one can learn but one cannot be taught".

 

So, really, when a person is ready for their next learning experience, they will teach themselves, maybe with the help of a teacher.

 

It is hard,though, not to try to help, so don't beat yourself up over it Al.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

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My philosophy on teaching/learning is this;

 

"one can learn but one cannot be taught".

 

So, really, when a person is ready for their next learning experience, they will teach themselves, maybe with the help of a teacher.

 

It is hard,though, not to try to help, so don't beat yourself up over it Al.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

 

It's probably best to reserve advice and opinion for occasions when it has actually been requested. It is all part of the fun and intensely rewarding to discover technique for oneself. It's certainly not 'rocket science' and I sympathise with the lady in question.

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My philosophy on teaching/learning is this;

 

"one can learn but one cannot be taught".

 

So, really, when a person is ready for their next learning experience, they will teach themselves, maybe with the help of a teacher.

 

It is hard,though, not to try to help, so don't beat yourself up over it Al.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

 

It's probably best to reserve advice and opinion for occasions when it has actually been requested. It is all part of the fun and intensely rewarding to discover technique for oneself. It's certainly not 'rocket science' and I sympathise with the lady in question.

Thanks Rod

That makes me feel a lot better

Al

PS ;)

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I've been through this with dog training -- on both sides, receiving and giving, but that's a little "touchier" because of differing philosophies or approaches to training. And as a bit of a writer and poet, I've seen people in critique groups either render critiques inappropriately or think they have to defend their work in a critique group. (Standard critique group etiquette is to just smile and nod, then go home and do precisely what you want to do. <G> You don't argue with the comments.)

 

But I think some folks are just resistant to any kind of "suggestion."

 

Me? I need all the help I can get and WISH I had other concertina players to hang out with who could give me tips. I'm entirely self taught and KNOW I've probably found the most difficult ways to do things that could be a whole lot simpler. <LOL> I play English.

 

And I had been practicing daily for over a year, but then life got in the way, I moved twice in a little over a year, and yikes -- am I out of practice. Plus, us older folks don't learn as quickly as the young ones, though I've always had a gift for music and seemed to pick up quickly on the English. I love playing, and I'm so glad to be settled now and back to practicing daily.

 

Oh, how I wish I had other English concertina players to hang out with! Any of you in the Louisville or Lexington, KY area?

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I find the words

 

"I was watching you play that tune and have an idea for another way of playing it that might make it easier. If you're interested, I'd be happy to show you my idea..."

 

to be fairly effective. At that point, the response will be usually "Sounds great, show me!" and very rarely "F-off I don't need any help..."

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Hi Alan

 

Been there, done that, had that happen to me numerous times, until I realized I was a total stranger that in their eyes perceived the introduction as an attack: "you're doing it wrong". I changed the initial conversation to a "What are you doing" style conversation, more with an interest than a correction and gave them enough time to tell me they had a little difficulty with the task. Once they told me, only then I offered a solution. It wasn't them, it was how I approached them. Until I wasn't a stranger, it was difficult to broach the issue and I had a little credibility with them. It only took a few extra minutes. Most people will gladly accept information that will make their life easier, if I got them on my side first.

 

After that, there was still the occasional comment that their instructor/teacher/coach said something contrary to my suggestion, and that was what they were practicing, so I had to back off, since I couldn't tell them their teaching was wrong. That comment, I had to take to the instructor, and hash it out with them.

 

Thanks

Leo

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And as a bit of a writer and poet, I've seen people in critique groups either render critiques inappropriately or think they have to defend their work in a critique group. (Standard critique group etiquette is to just smile and nod, then go home and do precisely what you want to do. <G> You don't argue with the comments.)

 

I've seen that happen too. When I first had my fan fiction critiqued I 'fought back' then was 'pm'd' and told that wasn't the ettiquette. lol! (On one fan fic place who shall remain nameless I got my account 'blacklisted'* (at least I think that was what was happened as every time since I try to submit a peice it gets 'denied') coz I argued with the mod about her comments on my characterisation of her fave DW character). Since then if I'm given critique in anything I smile politely, nod then [if I don't agree] go away and do what I want.

 

 

*yes I know you would never have guessed I was such a rebel...but I was a stroppy teenager at the time, and thus always right.

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...On one fan fic place who shall remain nameless I got my account 'blacklisted' ... coz I argued with the mod about her comments on my characterisation of her fave DW character...

Were you dissing Rose again?

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