The Music Lesson

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Victor Lemonte Wooten is a renowned bass guitarist, composer, author and one of my favourite musicians. ‘The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth through Music’ is simply a music lesson, that also completely changed the way I look at music. In The Music Lesson, Wooten connects music to a lot of other things in life. After reading the book I saw that the essence of music, the attributes that make it what it is, in many ways are the same as the attributes to life itself. In the book, we follow Wooten as he tells us how he learned music from a very extraordinary teacher. “Maybe, just maybe he came from my imagination,” says Victor. It would be hard to tell whether such a person actually existed, so I strongly believe in advice Wooten gives us at the beginning of the book – “Everything in this book may be all wrong. But if so, it’s alright!” Wooten breaks his book down into ten elements of music, and dedicates a chapter to each of the elements. His teacher would always use unusual but effective ways of explaining these elements in ways that make it easy to understand. Wooten learns that the main problem was with the way we often approached music. He explains that music should be approached, the way we approach a language as kids. We listen to others speak all the time and so find it easy to pick up. By speaking the language more we get better at it. One thing I found quite unique about this book was the way Wooten balanced between reality and imagination, spirituality and philosophy, music and life. I especially enjoyed the way he takes his story full circle and brings it back to the beginning in the end. While The Music Lesson didn’t teach me how to play any instrument or tell you anything about how to practice my instrument, it helped me truly understand music the way it should be understood and gave me a good reason appreciate music in my own way.
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