Share your expertise and skill!

Share your expertise and skill!

This is a quote from gooseinthenettles from the "Playing Irish traditional music" thread, and it is great advice! Sharing your expertise and skill with music (or just about anything) is really a positive thing in so many ways:

* It can be very useful for the people learning
* It can help solidify your thoughts on playing this music
* It can make you a better player too
* It can help you build a music scene around you
* It can give you a sense of accomplishment
* It can help you make new friends

The list goes on and on.

In the other discussion, the topic has rubbed a few people the wrong way, saying that we’re too focused on getting "better", and even that it somehow becomes a "competition". And that made me think more about this topic.

Many of the really great players like to teach. Yes, it can be a decent way to augment your income when you’re traveling around and performing. But it doesn’t have to be a paid teaching thing. Sharing your expertise can be as simple as talking informally about things with another person. This is one of the things that first turned me on to Irish traditional music - the social aspects, where (in general) people’s egos don’t get overly inflated (like you might find in, say, Rock and Roll), and it’s generally about the people, learning, sharing, friendship, and enjoyment, instead of being about money or fame.

Even if you’re not an "expert", you still have things to share. I started teaching music when I was still a beginner. I would teach tunes to people (and I still run a weekly free tune learning session). Now I teach private lessons, and at festivals, not because I think I’m the greatest things since sliced bread, but because I like sharing what I know, encouraging people to try things that are fun, and it’s a great way to make new friends. (And fortunately, my playing has gotten to a point where I actually get invited to teach. Part of how I got to that point was from teaching others).

So I encourage you all to share what you know, even if you don’t think you’re good enough. Because there are always people that can learn from what you have to teach, and you might learn some new things in the process too!

Re: Share your expertise and skill!

> you might learn some new things in the process too!

This is the single best reason to teach someone what you know - you will learn much, much more about your instrument and how to play it than you thought possible.

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Re: Share your expertise and skill!

Reverend, well stated, it’s about helping each other.

Re: Share your expertise and skill!

Sharing, helping each other, what concepts! I’ll share this if you will. Maybe 15 years or so ago, I went to a whisky tasting, a slainge. In the background was a mix of Irish, Scottish, music that I found myself enjoying as much as the whisky and I enjoyed the whisky a lot! A decade before that I’d put away all of my instruments, tired of the blues/rock/jazz life for nearly half a century. So I bought a whistle and went in search of what someone told me was a "session". Sound like a familiar story? Bear with me I’m getting somewhere with this. So what did I find? Nothing but a community. I found a group of people who like each other and, as I was to find out, welcomed newcomers with sharing and help. As I travel, not as much as I’d like to, I find mostly that same community almost everywhere, almost every time. That is what draws me. To be sure I found some of that in other places, but nowhere as easily as in with the ITM community where almost everyone has offered me something and that compels me to offer the small smattering of what I may know in return. Even our disagreements are mostly among friends. Don’t get me wrong, I love ITM, play it all day, but what really keeps it, and me, alive is the community. There’s even one group who gets me on an annual pilgrimage to soak up that feeling. You know who you are! Without that I’ll take up fly-fishing or yelling at FOX News. If you find yourself in Salt Lake City let me know. We can have a tune or twelve and I’d love to meet you.

Re: Share your expertise and skill!

Ross, about "community": Nicely stated!

I hope you won’t mind if I quote you for my session friends some time in the future.