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  • sthornbury@wanadoo.es
    Barnaby asked me to post this message for him, as he s having trouble getting on to the group (anybody else having trouble???) (Barnaby, I ve taken out all the
    Message 1 of 2 , Feb 5, 2001
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      Barnaby asked me to post this message for him, as he's having trouble
      getting on to the group (anybody else having trouble???) (Barnaby,
      I've taken out all the formatting - I hope you don't mind, but the
      program gets flustered by italcis and things; I've also kept
      your "personalised" messages in, because this is the way I first read
      your message, and it would not be very dogme to edit it!! No,
      seriously, it's the personal that makes this group work. Anyway,
      welcome on board)

      Scott,
      This is by way of a contribution to D; I've lurked a couple of times,
      as you invited us to do (Escola d'Idiomes, Thursday 25th), and it was
      nice to read bits and pieces of people's letters to one another on
      the site. What I have to share here is an extract from a conversation
      between two musicians, the guitarist Derek Bailey and the (late)
      drummer/teacher John Stevens. They once worked together, practising,
      writing, teaching, and the extract below comes from a book written by
      Bailey in 1975 and first published in 1980, called Improvisation -
      its Nature and Practice in Music (now Da Capo Press). It's Part Six:
      Classroom Improvisation, where Stevens describes the free jazz music
      workshops that he was setting up in London. The date is 1960-
      something, but anyway:

      When I go out to do a workshop, though I've been doing it for a long
      time, as I approach the place there is no real confidence in me about
      what is going to happen. I always have the same sort of feeling. I
      can never take it for granted. And walking into the room I'm always
      apprehensive. And sometimes I wonder "What am I doing? I'm still
      doing this and worrying about it" And there was one period recently
      which, because of other problems, was particularly hard. And as I
      travelled towards the place I would think: "I'll have to give this
      up. I just don't have that sort of energy any more." Then I would get
      there, walk into the room, and there would be about 15 people in
      there all playing their arses off - great! The impact was just
      beautiful. And they, the `pupils´, got me there during that time.
      Then it was easy. The energy came from them.

      What's interesting, one of the things that I see as important, is
      this: I've had to try and avoid a situation where they relied on me
      to come in and set the whole thing up. I made a rule: I said to
      them "You're coming here because you're supposed to want to play.
      This is a room in which you can play, so, as soon as you get in this
      room you are going to prove you want to play by getting on and
      playing. If you don't want to do that, none of what I'm doing here
      makes any sense whatsoever. If there are four or two or even if you
      are the first to arrive, as soon as you get here - start playing. And
      if someone comes who's new to the class then it's the responsibility
      of the people who are experienced in the class to invite the newcomer
      to play. In a sense, that is what it is about."


      There are nice measures here of both generosity of spirit and
      toughness. Toughness in that I imagine Stevens was actually working
      very hard, which is in the nature of things, and generosity of spirit
      in that he understood the value of being uncertain, of fretting and
      getting going without a very clear map, and that he was always bowled
      over by the effect of it afterwards. Either way, it makes me feel
      better. If I look at the things that matter to me, if I consider
      myself growing older and being a teacher, what I would most like to
      go on doing is (a) fret and then (b) see things happily saved. That's
      one way of putting it, anyway. To close this, what I find attractive
      about the dogme idea is that the people involved decided to go out,
      away from a teaching discipline to somewhere else, to then get back
      again and re-explain the teaching. I can see how the film making
      ideas were particularly apt for this, but I reckon that it could have
      come from many places. It makes so much sense to look out, and there
      are so many fantastic things going on out there, why close the
      windows and be miserable?


      One last thing. Rosemary asked me if I'd do a write-up on your
      Thursday workshop/talk for the EIM formació newsletter. Is there
      anything you'd like me to say or not say, or any general suggestions?
      I planned to briefly summarise things (sounds ominous, doesn't it?)
      and put the dogme e-mail address in there in big letters so that
      people could go look for themselves.

      (Barnaby - now that I actually read this, I am amazed how totally it
      captures the spirit of the dogme classsroom, in fact I started
      forgetting it was about music at all. As for the summary - yes, by
      all means - a brief summary and the address - feel free to quote bits
      and pieces form the site, but in fairness attribute them)
    • Luke Meddings
      Hi Barnaby This is great - interestingly, it explicitly hands over responsibility for starting to play (in our students case in London, it would be speaking)
      Message 2 of 2 , Feb 6, 2001
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        Hi Barnaby

        This is great - interestingly, it explicitly hands over responsibility for starting to play (in our students' case in London, it would be speaking) to the participants. They've come halfway across the world to speak English! But 'setting up an activity' isn't what's going to make them feel relaxed enough to do it. The other issue here is that the musicians would have had some self-confidence to go to the workshop - whereas many of our students start out with real confidence problems. It also emphasises the relevance of this approach to what is deadeningly called personal development - ie how to go on enjoying teaching.

        Luke



        *********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

        On 2/5/2001 at 10:38 PM sthornbury@... wrote:

        >Barnaby asked me to post this message for him, as he's having trouble
        >getting on to the group (anybody else having trouble???) (Barnaby,
        >I've taken out all the formatting - I hope you don't mind, but the
        >program gets flustered by italcis and things; I've also kept
        >your "personalised" messages in, because this is the way I first read
        >your message, and it would not be very dogme to edit it!! No,
        >seriously, it's the personal that makes this group work. Anyway,
        >welcome on board)
        >
        >Scott,
        >This is by way of a contribution to D; I've lurked a couple of times,
        >as you invited us to do (Escola d'Idiomes, Thursday 25th), and it was
        >nice to read bits and pieces of people's letters to one another on
        >the site. What I have to share here is an extract from a conversation
        >between two musicians, the guitarist Derek Bailey and the (late)
        >drummer/teacher John Stevens. They once worked together, practising,
        >writing, teaching, and the extract below comes from a book written by
        >Bailey in 1975 and first published in 1980, called Improvisation -
        >its Nature and Practice in Music (now Da Capo Press). It's Part Six:
        >Classroom Improvisation, where Stevens describes the free jazz music
        >workshops that he was setting up in London. The date is 1960-
        >something, but anyway:
        >
        >When I go out to do a workshop, though I've been doing it for a long
        >time, as I approach the place there is no real confidence in me about
        >what is going to happen. I always have the same sort of feeling. I
        >can never take it for granted. And walking into the room I'm always
        >apprehensive. And sometimes I wonder "What am I doing? I'm still
        >doing this and worrying about it" And there was one period recently
        >which, because of other problems, was particularly hard. And as I
        >travelled towards the place I would think: "I'll have to give this
        >up. I just don't have that sort of energy any more." Then I would get
        >there, walk into the room, and there would be about 15 people in
        >there all playing their arses off - great! The impact was just
        >beautiful. And they, the `pupils´, got me there during that time.
        >Then it was easy. The energy came from them.
        >
        >What's interesting, one of the things that I see as important, is
        >this: I've had to try and avoid a situation where they relied on me
        >to come in and set the whole thing up. I made a rule: I said to
        >them "You're coming here because you're supposed to want to play.
        >This is a room in which you can play, so, as soon as you get in this
        >room you are going to prove you want to play by getting on and
        >playing. If you don't want to do that, none of what I'm doing here
        >makes any sense whatsoever. If there are four or two or even if you
        >are the first to arrive, as soon as you get here - start playing. And
        >if someone comes who's new to the class then it's the responsibility
        >of the people who are experienced in the class to invite the newcomer
        >to play. In a sense, that is what it is about."
        >
        >
        >There are nice measures here of both generosity of spirit and
        >toughness. Toughness in that I imagine Stevens was actually working
        >very hard, which is in the nature of things, and generosity of spirit
        >in that he understood the value of being uncertain, of fretting and
        >getting going without a very clear map, and that he was always bowled
        >over by the effect of it afterwards. Either way, it makes me feel
        >better. If I look at the things that matter to me, if I consider
        >myself growing older and being a teacher, what I would most like to
        >go on doing is (a) fret and then (b) see things happily saved. That's
        >one way of putting it, anyway. To close this, what I find attractive
        >about the dogme idea is that the people involved decided to go out,
        >away from a teaching discipline to somewhere else, to then get back
        >again and re-explain the teaching. I can see how the film making
        >ideas were particularly apt for this, but I reckon that it could have
        >come from many places. It makes so much sense to look out, and there
        >are so many fantastic things going on out there, why close the
        >windows and be miserable?
        >
        >
        >One last thing. Rosemary asked me if I'd do a write-up on your
        >Thursday workshop/talk for the EIM formació newsletter. Is there
        >anything you'd like me to say or not say, or any general suggestions?
        >I planned to briefly summarise things (sounds ominous, doesn't it?)
        >and put the dogme e-mail address in there in big letters so that
        >people could go look for themselves.
        >
        >(Barnaby - now that I actually read this, I am amazed how totally it
        >captures the spirit of the dogme classsroom, in fact I started
        >forgetting it was about music at all. As for the summary - yes, by
        >all means - a brief summary and the address - feel free to quote bits
        >and pieces form the site, but in fairness attribute them)
        >
        >
        >
        >To Post a message, send it to: dogme@...
        >To Unsubscribe, send a blank message to: dogme-unsubscribe@...
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