Monday, July 30, 2012

An Anat Baniel story: the importance of mistakes, for us and for special needs children

In Anat's book, Kids Beyond Limits,
she is quite direct:
"Don't correct mistakes."

Use them as a stepping stone for variation.
Then learning to do and experience life as richer
instead of experiencing.  "Oh, oh. I'm wrong again."

Here's a story:

Cello player, one of best in world,
comes to Anat with pain.

She asks him to play something simple.
After humfing and hawing, he decides
he can play something simple,
which he does, exquisitely, of course.

Now Anat asks him to play it poorly.
"Me. I can't play poorly. Blah, blah."

Anat: Do you have a student who plays poorly.

Cellist: Yes.

Anat: Can you play like them?

Cellist: Yes

So , he does.

And then Anat has him repeat.
And he's reluctant again, but not quite as much.

And again, and he's getting "into it."

And a couple of more, "poor" vatiations.

Good: his pain is gone.

Cool, eh?

My theory: he was so stuck at 98% perfect, he
couldn't feel and try anything else.

By variation on "poorly" he discovered some hiden
possibilities and was freed.

Good advice to us all,
as we strain and ruin ourselves to be more than we possibly
can be.

And for the children:
even a "less good" variation,
is good.

Way good.

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