Being into the pedagogy and didactic process for more than 20 years, has been an evolving working and creative process in itself. The teaching practice represents a strong via for contact, communication and exchange, a connection within a personal and interpersonal experiences in life, through music and art, cultural diversity, intimate feelings and expression of emotions.
The pedagogy side of my artistic creational process has been a practice in its own as a way for understanding self expression. It is an integral part of my work.
The interactive understanding and feedback among the elements involved in the teaching/coaching exercise and practice, has been a crucial factor in the long term conditioning development and learning.
In my individual case, the main consideration has always been the ¨what is¨ in each individual motivation for doing a specific task, learning through an action or exercising into activity. What is unique in everyone as his/her own being, and that is brought into the practice and working procedure through the learning work.
Everything in our lives can be used as a working field. Sharing a particular way of understanding the natural phenomena of things around us, digging into Universal History and our own history, practicing the Art, investigating about human condition and his place in time, his geography and cultural environment conditionings, studying aesthetics and roots of main interest, etc.
There is no linear method nor fixed dogma, but an elemental historical source of inspiring perceptual conditioning on which we can immerse ourselves as in a path for self inquiry, self re-discovering, self awareness and self re-invention of ourselves through practicing, listening, observation and understanding.
My actual state of drumming teaching wants to be more of a via, a path, than a method or system. A noble instrument for our own singularity to be sculpted as an extension/expansion of our own body membrane, mind and spirit.
Talleres en Boca del Cielo, Chiapas, 2014-15
Taller en Ontico, SCLC, Chiapas. 2013
Childhood is the corner stone for creativity and open source for the activation of intuitive thinking in A life process.
The basic questions of ¿How to keep oneself discovering once we already learned and mastered something? ¿How to avoid and overcome the repetitiveness that lead us to boredom and stagnation? ¿How to keep growing and evolving when we reach our adulthood in a closed-linear-automat sociocultural system-environment?
Kids are always changing, evolving, developing, dreaming, imagining fantastic worlds, playing improvised games, creating new realities, n-a-t-u-r-a-l-l-y. We adults must avoid any sort of restriction of their own creative freedom and natural intuitive understanding of the world.
Being close to Nature, or nature closeness, means a practicing of listening and observing our natural gift, always open many paths for new ways of communicating and perceiving, growth and rejuvenation in my pedagogical practice. And this nature closeness is so alive in kids, and can be also applied to adults!
Kids perception of music is beyond the music, as we understand music. It is pure music at its more divine pure state. It exists at a vibrational level within the young being and his/her resonance within nature.
Chiapas: an open backyard for creative playing and invention environment.
Let the child be the teacher! During my working with native kids in Chiapas for a few years, I went to observe an endless opened possibility of approaching and developing a musical workshop field in a very different and diverse manner than the mere western based pedagogical method I was using since 1994 until 2010. Since native kids has not any closeness to Western culture, nor musical tradition in an institutional academic education, nor systematic training as we normally encounter with modern urban kids, they are completely open/free to expression from deep inside, a high degree of perceptive sensory-motor that allows them to explore into a fantastic level of creative awareness in their natural habitat. No system nor method fits into their true sensitiveness and understanding of the world, of sound organization and auditive thinking. This kids, which barely speak or understand Spanish language, speak the language of trees, talks to the rivers, communicate with animals in subtle and wild ways; signs with the birds, and get into a unique sort of close relationship with mountains and the wind.
Pure music. After a few years of being in contact with this open minded-free spirits, a sort of dynamic procedures became the fertile soil to communicate basic and elemental aspects of what I may call pure music practices.
My personal experience was one of a very deep encounter and interchanging, as I became the true student of their pure nature expression. And the dynamic procedures and practices resulting from this encounter, became a singular sort of open methodology to be used and applied in my teaching process.
I finally ended up with a whole new project: AUDIOSFERAS: del juego creativo a través del sonido. Which I conceive not only as a pedagogical didactic workshop for creative music mind practices, or a closed system-program of improvisation teaching, but as my own personal workshop environment for keep alive my musical ¨ludic childhood¨ creative habits.
A brief insight to...
AUDIOSFERAS IS A process-open creative workshop which basic parameter departs from listening, observing and silent the mind-body. ¿What it is before and after we play? Audiosphere is the spacetime environment-situation-state where sound exists and develops as a biological being; like the atmosphere and stratosphere and its elements. It is the biological life of sounds, its field of interaction and reproduction. It is not about playing music in the traditional way, but generating sound as pure matter, gathering of elemental bodies of vibrating content which naturally develops through the act of playing. Sometimes this playing is lead by a strategy, others it is open to self wishful thinking and open will, others at individual creative intuitive impulses.
The instrument, the musical one, are a medium, a textural source of our time, era and culture; but the main instrument is the human body itself; is our generative source for stimulus synthesis for the imagination and creative mind. Our propioceptive system of our body is a sponge of the colorful palette and infinite diversity of tonalities and mixtures of textures in nature to explore. The musical instrument as is the our body, is a volume maker in space-time.
Before thinking, there is pure intuition; instead of technique, there is perception and impulse for action; instead of delimiting rules, there are paths for communicating and contacting truthfully within each other through sound.
The word `improvisation` is a construct from last century and now has become a closed dogma full of antinatural theoretical principles. The way of improvising is an innate quality of all animated animals; in the mere simpler musical practice, is to generate imaginary vehicles to developing notions and open ideas that arise within ourselves in relation to our surroundings and habits, our body receptors becomes, over a given period of time, our auditive thoughts. New beings into new wordless worlds, fields which enable us a peculiar and particular sense of spatiality, perception of inner-outer states of physical existence, sound stasis, a keen sense of spacetime, rhythm and movement, the magic of sound textures, color and temperature of sound tonalities around us.
Audiosferas the workshop, is conceived as a process that can be utilized as a platform for creative work and composing for any individual, traditional trained musician or creative artist, and is a very useful program for the participation of non musicians or non artistic trained individuals.
Kids finds here a magic nature reservoir for exploring within themselves departing from their own instrument: their body.
As a pedagogic system it is open source documented and structured, and its applications in the working field are limitless and highly flexible; it is intended that the participant invent and re-invent his/her path to develop a self understanding of musicality in the World.
Living consciously into a given audiosphere, develops concentration and focus the mind, it stimulates imagination and interacts within the collective social community imagination. It also improves and works out a keen listening, focus self awareness, strengthen order and organization of ideas, propel sensibility for abstract thinking. And finally, gives clear notion about acoustic ecology and preservation of healthy environment.
Some authors of reference study and support for this program are Murray Schafer, John Cage, K. Stockhausen, Nicandro Tamez, W. Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Mark Rotkho, Paulo Freire, Marshall McLuhan, Claudio Naranjo, Fritz Pearls, Joseph Zinker, Jean Piaget, María Montessori, Rudolf Steiner, to name just bot a few.
DRUMMING TEACHING PRACTICE.
For many years and since early stages in my career, I´ve been asked to teach by other drummers.
For myself, I think that drumming is an individual experience through music and dancing, singing and listening to our own inner rhyhtm. Percuting is like dancing, so dancing the drums implies an awareness of the body movement at a higher degree.
Music and drumming styles borns within culture and social implications, and to know and understand as many styles and forms as possible is important as far as one experience them as a way of understanding culture in a given moment and geograpiycal reality in history, so it can give us a personal universal historic perspective; is our Culture. It represents an encounter with other cultural ideologies, cosmogonies, spiritual and religious practices, etc. Through practicing drumming in a qualified and mindful way, one enters into deeper territories of our own being, and contact us within various ways of thinking, feelings and emotions, ways of doing and expressing creatively ourselves towards the world.
The rudimental based school practice, like the North American tradition one, represents a small corner of the whole world drumming universe. There are as many ways of playing and technics in drumming as there are individual approaches in every corner of the whole geographic places on Earth. It is a wide universal language spread through diaspora all over the World since ancestral primitive times.
This is what multidirectional concept is, it means a sense of being beyond the political borders, or far out the more advanced pedagogic and didactic practice on sultur stylistic, technical and idiomatic drumming complexities. What I ended up with, has been exposed and developed through TAMBORERO LAB, a drum set workshop composed and initially thought as a chamber music percussion quartet format, in which its repertoire requires a great amount of commitment, investigation, practice, performative instrumental technical capabilities, researching of multicultural traditions, improvisation, etc.
TEACHING DRUMMING STYLES.
As a practice, teaching drumming styles always has situated me in a position of re-learning from the styles to be taught and learned. The fundamental question is always ¿Where is this or that music coming from and what is that music for?
Being Classical Orchestral snare drum, Traditional or Modern Jazz, Brazilian Music or Afro-Cuban oriented music or African Rhythms, whatever the style may be called, it comes from a cultural perspective and ideology practices; it serves a purpose into that sociocultural environment. Teaching Jazz Drumming means to enter a culture idiosyncrasy, religious manners and practices, spiritual communication, social events, etc.
The fundamental question is ¿What is that that one may really teach about through a specific playing form and style? This is my main reflection on teaching drumming styles.
The main questioning on teaching drumming styles always has been ¿Why are we interested in this or that style? ¿What do we thinking is this or that style coming from? ¿What is this or that style for? ¿How is that we want to learn from that style of musical language? ¿Why are we want to spend a considerable period of time in our lives learning this or that style of playing? ¿What for? ¿Is this or that style enable us to fully express ourselves? ¿Is this or that style of music really align with our natural way of feeling and expressing our emotions? ¿What is that that attract us to this or that style of playing?
There is a logical path to evolve and developing into the instrumental learning process. But I think this is an open and diverse path for everyone.
The main problem I think is to understand history and the tendencies that has been arised on every era in every specific culture. ¿Why is one interested in a specific way of playing? ¿How it is possible to feel this attraction if we come from a different cultural and traditional perspective? ¿How could one be positively influenced by that sound we think fits within our own way of feeling and perceiving our own sound in the the world? Again the question ¿Why are we becoming interested into spending a considerable amount of time in learning other peoples habits, manners, ways of expression, performance practices and technical visions and truths?
If we think on this questions we re-discover our deep own motivation to truthfully learn to play an instrument in a certain way.
We don´t want to waste our life time in something we don´t truthfully and deeply vibrate with. We want to learn an instrument to express our true feelings and emotions, develop our imaginary landscapes, work on our thinking and understanding, re-discovering ourselves with the contact with the other through performance practices, sculpting our body through practicing, and to enhance our understanding of who we really are and what are we here for.