How to take a workshop.

Two and a half weeks from now, I will be teaching at a Uke Festival in Bend, Oregon. As I get ready for the trip, I think about what I will be teaching and how I can encourage everyone to make the most out of the many workshops they will be attending.

Perhaps one of those students will be you.

Let’s start with the simple, obvious truth: you aren’t going to learn everything that is presented to you. Not in one 45 minute class with a dozen other people plunking around and asking questions. Not even in one 45 minute private lesson all by yourself with the full attention of the teacher. Multiply by a whole day or weekend filled with workshops, and you may feel like you haven’t learned anything.

But you will be exposing yourself to a variety of ideas and techniques. And like a photographer that shoots dozens of photos hoping to capture one amazing moment, you too, can aspire to come away with one or two epiphanies* over the weekend.

Here’s my suggestion:

Take those classes and workshops. Don’t stress about what you’re not learning, but rather let all that information find it’s orbit around your brain and see if there isn’t something that does make sense. Notice and observe. Don’t mentally discard anything – some of that info may make sense later.

Take another class. What does that teacher have to say? Think of it as gathering miscellaneous parts of a larger machine. Some of the individual parts may not make sense, but when you put them all together – later – they will.

Take another class. Challenge yourself. Maybe it’s too hard for you – that’s okay. Pretend you’re a fly on the wall of a secret meeting of advanced musical beings. Or pretend you’re an anthropologist – observing how other talk and behave.

Just participate. You never know what will stick, and what you will learn.

And have fun.



*An epiphany (from the ancient Greek ἐπιφάνεια, epiphaneia, “manifestation, striking appearance”) is an experience of sudden and striking realization.

#ukulele #rhan #uke

2 Responses to “How to take a workshop.”

  1. Kresimir Says:

    “When student is ready, teacher appears!”

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