Kid you had the right idea. Playing with other kids is amazing. Some random activity brings you together and you create world of your own:
- Backyard capture the flag
- Conquering a video game nobody quite understood
- Imagining the rules of your game world # Growing up As we grow older, we gain a new appreciation of that unrestrained imaginative collaboration. We learn the difference between unrestrained and unconstrained. We channel it through a well-defined activity such as making music instead of letting everything out in haphazard activities. However, as we realize this we are moving away from the days when there are clubs to join with other kids who happened to be doing the thing that you’re doing. After university, our hobbies end up isolating us. Every one is busy with work or the family or just a different hobby and so you toil away in solitude.
The Point and Problem
That may well be a false narrative, but it illustrates my point: Practicing music can be a lonely pursuit because it’s generally something practiced outside of your friend group. Sure you may have a teacher, but at the end of the day you’re paying them and your not going to have the same kind of relationship as with a best friend.
What if we designed musical pedagogical software that was designed to be a social experience. A concern that comes to mind is how do you take two people who do not know how to play music and get them to have a satisfying jam session. Can either of them even take themselves seriously when they say they are having a “jam session”?
This suggests our approach accomodate two stages of a person’s musical journey: 1. This thing in my hands is a ridiculous creation and it is even more ridiculous that you think I can do something with this. 2. How do I work with more than one instrument especially when I am not playing both nor do I know how to play it.
The self-focused nature of the first stage suggests that we should make learning to play a solo activity and learning to play together a tautilogically together activity. But sometimes suggestions are stupid and you should not take them. In case you forgot, I think the crushing unsatisfaction that comes from sucking at something by yourself is an onerous barrier of entry to the musical world. How can we make sucking at something fun?
A good first step would be to stop describing it as “sucking at”. A good second step would be to stop talking about the process at such a high level and get into the details.
Look for it in another post.