ITM and Pavlov’s dog
Have you ever noticed that after just hearing a tune start up folks will pick up their instrument and start fingering notes, or put a whistle of flute to their lips — regardless of whether or not they know the tune or not? I remember bringing this up at a session and we would catch ourselves doing it and then quickly put our instruments down again when we realized it.
It’s been a while since I first realized this so now I don’t have that response any more, but I had to un-condition myself. I’ll notice others doing it, and trying without success to play along only to realize it’s futile after the second time through the repeat of the first part usually. And then there will be an expression of frustration and disappointment on their face. The impetus for me to quash this response was that feelings of frustration and disappointment didn’t seem very fun, and I’d be distracted by these responses instead of just enjoying the music.
Have any of you noticed this in yourself or others? Why do we do this, is enjoying ITM only possible when we are playing? Why is it so hard for some folks to enjoy listening to each other without feeling frustrated or disappointed? Why are we compelled to play before we even recognize the tune as one we know?