The road of feeling is something that is difficult to show someone who is learning to play an instrument. It can be alluded to, hinted at, demonstrated but not given as a defined map reference for someone to find. The road is unique to everyone; the elements required are the same for all but ordnance reference will be different, because we all have differing maps.
The problem with something that lies in the unconscious world of feeling, emotion and imagination is that being hard to teach we reach for the things that are easy, statistical, measureable and mark able and that is sadly not helping people grow either musically or emotionally.
The statistical world helps only the accountants and leads to people to suffering emotionally. Imagine that you are told by a doctor that you have a 50% chance of survival from a prognosis, that is cold and unemotional and you might say good that the facts are delivered in this way but wait until you are in that position then you will feel that icy touch of statistics from the learned professionals and experts in their field. We are not Vulcans and Mr Spock may have been able to deal with that statement but humans do not deal well with this because it is devoid of feeling. In Garner Thompson’s excellent book ‘Magic in Practice’ which is about the use of language in health care the importance of choice of words that engages the patient in their healing is very important but is sadly lacking today. The old idea of ‘bedside manor’ has been lost in the pursuit of targets and the magic bullet of Big Pharma. The evidence is that in a world where we are being told that things are better than ever, there are increased rates of mental illness and not just in the elderly but increasingly in the young. The word disease shows us in its epistemology exactly what we experience, dis- ease.
This is just part of the picture it is also true of arts and music, sound devoid of feeling is just sound not music at all however it has been processed through Pro Tools. So in playing or teaching we need to connect to the feeling that is the music, make the sounds connect to your emotions let it mean something and allow the music to set you free.