Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Today's Word—Paradiddles

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Teaching Writing. And Paradiddles….

“Of course writing can be taught. This is not to say that you can teach anyone to be Faulkner. But you can’t teach anyone to be Thelonius Monk, and no one questions the value of piano lessons. You can’t teach anyone to be Andre Agassi, yet no one questions (at least from a tennis-playing perspective) the sending of 5-year-olds to tennis bootcamps in Florida to learn how to hit tennis balls for 17 hours a day.”
Joshua Henkin, blogging at The Elegant Variation.
(Thanks to alert WORDster Javan Kienzle)

4 comments:

  1. Sahila ChangeBringerSeptember 17, 2008 at 10:08 PM

    I can teach someone how to put a sentence together so that it makes a basic level of sense - the fat cat sat on the mat eating a rat - but conveying nuance and texture and fullness of meaning is something else again, and, I think, cant be taught - if its not in your psyche to feel it, envision it, then I dont think you can articulate it....

    And I think if you dont have a modicum of innate ability in the beginning, creative writing classes are not going to give it to you. For example, I'm assuming you cant teach a tone deaf person to play the piano with feeling - you could teach him/her the process and sequence of playing a series of notes that make meaningful noise, but wouldnt any subsequent performance really be an exercise played by rote?

    Actually, its been a bit of an eye opener for me - have always earned my living using words - written or spoken, no big deal - just write or utter the words going through my mind. Thought nothing of it, thought everyone could do it/was doing it, never understood how it was possible that poor writing existed....

    Its been a bit of a revelation having people in my peer (age) group admit they have trouble communicating anything in written form which does more than deliver bare statements of fact or bland sentiments.... still dont understand it - would love to find out how their brains function differently, would like to feel/sense/think/experience the world from their mindspace - wonder if they have another skill in expression I dont have....

    Was sorely tempted to leave a long rant about Scalia and the Palin spoof, but did at least want to be accurate and relevant! and so far have been too lazy to read all of the Scalia interview...

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    1. You’ll also notice that the “Pa-ra” is the single stroke part and
      the “did-dle” is the double stroke part.You could also set up your
      metronome at this stage and have a go at locking in with a click
      track.

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