Thursday, April 3, 2008

Arlo on Teaching Methods


From the album Precious Friend, by Pete Seeger and Arlo Guthrie. Arlo introduces "Garden Song" with some thoughts on how we learn. I wish I'd had Arlo to fall back on in grad school, because by the time I got there, they figured the "boring method" (i.e., some rote memorization from which you can draw new conclusions, create new ideas) was very much looked down upon. I think there's some middle ground.

This’s a kinda easy song, let’s hold one second, let’s learn this song, ‘cause this is, I mean, I know everybody likes singin’ with Pete, but I learnt this song from Pete, an’ it’d be almost the same thing. So, now I know, I mean, the difference, I know, I’ve been watchin’ Pete now for a few years, and he does somethin’ I can’t do, which is, he sings the songs twice at the same time. That’s what we were talking about before, celery consciousness, an’ Pete can do it. It’s the same –it’s – he sings the song once in front of the song and then once with everybody. That’s hard. So, I’m gonna try it, but first, let’s do it the normal way, which is the way we all learnt stuff in school. Now I know, people wanna forget about that, because you don’t figure you can learn anything that way, but it’s wrong; you’ve been learnin’ new ways to learn stuff an’ it don’t work. Right? So. Go back to the old way. It’s the old, what they call the “borin’ method.”

2 comments:

ThomasLB said...

I think I have all of Arlo's live albums. He is one of the few performers that is much better in front of an audience than he is in the studio.

Snark said...

Absolutely.