Tag Archives: reading

Yourself.

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“Jung knew the prejudice in western culture against the introverted. He could tolerate it when it came from the extraverted. But he felt that the introverted who undervalue themselves are truly doing the world a disservice.”

A note to self: Don’t let Carl down.

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Music and Mood Regulation

Sometimes it frustrates me that the potential of music doesn’t seem to be reached in the classroom. Especially after experiencing what music could really do for individuals and small groups. It frustrates me that that has to be compromised in the name of curriculum, school needs and manpower.

If holistic and equal education is key, why doesn’t the government provide funds for small group instrumental instruction and music appreciation? Students would still be able to experience the relationary and social nature of music making with the close relationship of a teacher, without the same teacher having to monitor 35 other kids in the classroom at the same time – something will have to give.

This week’s article is “The Role of Music in Adolescents’ Mood Regulation“. The immense and expansive nature which music can play in mood and emotional regulation in adolescents makes me wonder if they really need classroom music teachers at all.

We all have the instinctive and intuitive drive to use music in our daily lives – to counter sadness, to pump up joy, to divert attention, to focus, to fill voids around and within us. How can music lessons in school build on this intuition, such that students feel validated and valued as a person? And I believe that this is something the arts can do and scaffold, far more than any other subject, which usually involves a steep learning curve.

I thought about my overarching aim for this year – for students to leave each class feeling accomplished and developed. Be it cognitively, physically, socially, emotionally – there is potential to touch any of these areas through music at any one time. So while students may already have the ability to use music for self-mood regulation, surely they can also be expanded to feel the beauty of creating a song cover arrangement, feel the adrenaline of playing in unison, feel the anticipation of listening for nuances and basically just become more “whole” as a person through these experiences.

And so could we – even as adults.

 

The Antidote

 

“Failure is everywhere. It’s just that most of the time we would rather avoid confronting that fact…

Our efforts not to think about failure leave us with a severely distorted understanding of what it takes to be successful. An openness to the emotional experience of failure can be a stepping-stone to a much richer kind of happiness than can be achieved by focusing only on success.”

The phrase “failure is the mother of success” didn’t come from our predecessors for nothing – they knew the meaning and value of failure, something our society seems to be rediscovering – thankfully.

Terra Incognita II

“Worry is a way to pretend that you have knowledge or control over what you don’t – and it surprises me, even in myself, how much we prefer ugly scenarios to the pure unknown.”
-“A Field Guide To Getting Lost”

Reading this, I immediately thought: “that’s me!” The person who’s always worrying, the one who’s always fretting over what we do not know. Although I think I have calmed down over the years and have learnt to cap my worries over certain things, I know I still worry, especially when it comes to the “bigger” things. Not that it makes a difference. If you don’t have control over it, you don’t have control over it. It makes no difference whether the thing we’re worried about is big or small.

Worry is a place in relation to the terra Incognita in our lives. It is a response to the unknown, uncharted, unseen, unexplored. Because we are so used to knowing, we feel helpless when we are faced with something we cannot know, and worry is a way to cope with what that helplessness. To “pretend that you have knowledge and control”.

If we could learn to embrace the terra Incognita in ourselves and in life, accepting the terra Incognita for what it is: an unknown place, beautiful because it has yet to come and pure because it has not been touched or tainted by the present – we would not feel the need to imagine the worst to cope with the need for knowing.

I need to embrace the terra Incognita in my life right now.

Terra Incognita

“Between words is silence, around ink whiteness, behind every map’s information is what’s left out, and unmapped and unmappable.”
“… Terra Incognita spaces on maps say that knowledge is also an island surrounded by oceans of the unknown. They signify that cartographers knew they did not know, and awareness of ignorance is not just ignorant; it’s awareness of knowledge’s limits. To destroy false notions, without even going any further, is one of the ways to advance knowledge. To acknowledge the unknown is part of knowledge…”

– “A Field Guide To Getting Lost”

These paragraphs on terra incognita and the nature of the unknown have captured my imagination and fantasy and thoughts associated with these 2 words.

Terra Incognita.

Growing up and living in a world where knowledge bombards, where not to know is frowned upon, where admittance of not knowing can be a source of shame – terra incognita suggests a world so refreshing and light.

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In the world of terra Incognita, it might be more accepting, more embracing of ambiguity. Of the need for exploration, both externally and internally. Such a world might view learning for the beauty of it, rather than learning as the means to an end. The lack of knowledge, and the awareness of lack of knowledge, being acknowledged as a form of knowledge in itself. Being liberated from knowledge.

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Terra Incognita.