On Friday, September 17th, Â I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to watch Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey put on a Community Workshop for the incoming freshmen at Stanford University. Â Entitled “Learning In and Through Community” the program utilized music activities to introduce to the students the idea of broadening ones learning experience by living in residential communities. Â Put together with the help of bass player and Stanford Resident Fellow Rod Taylor, the program also featured drummer J.D. Blair andÂ SaxophonistÂ Bob Hemenger. Â All I can say is Wow! Â I was fortunate enough to meet and speak with all of the musicians involved, and found each one to be kind, down to earth guys. Â Most inspiring was their passion for what they do and their true sense of excitement to be a part of the program.
Victor and crew talked about living and learning together at great length during the hour and a half workshop. Â The session was very interactive, with several students being brought on stage to illustrate specific examples. Â Although the workshop was aimed at the Stanford Freshmen, I was definitely able to grasp the greater concept being presented, and took away a lot of new perspectives on how we learn and on life in general. Â For instance, the idea that we carry around a lot of “baggage” that actually holds us back was an idea that is so simple, yet I never really thought about it in the way it was presented. Â It definitely gave me a lot to think about and I have already began to see things a little clearer. Â As you may know from my previous posts, I am currently trying to learn how to play slap bass. Â Well, I’ve been feeling lately like I have been in a rut and this workshop made Â me realize that I have put to much pressure on myself. Â To me learning how to play slap bass is learning how to play like Victor or Flea, but in reality that is not the type of bass player that I want to be. Â Don’t get me wrong, I love to listen to Victor and would sure love to be able to play some of his licks, but stylistically I would much rather play like Geezer Butler, John Paul Jones and John Entwistle. Â In realizing this I feel a sense of liberation. Â I want to be proficient at slap bass, but my style of playing is not centered around it. Suddenly learning to play slap doesn’t seem as big a deal to me and I can see the great improvements I have made in this area already. Â As an added bonus I was given an audio book copy of Victor’s Book The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music. Â I have already read the book, but can’t wait to hear it read by Victor himself. Â Boy do I have a lot to learn!
For more info on the Stanford program click here.