Everything has a Process of some sort. Writing, composing, playing a sport, being a student all have protocols and systems designed through trial, error and experience to create platforms for learning. Some disciplines, like the trades, have apprentice programs. In the Renaissance, painters would have an apprentice whose sole responsibility was to mix colors for the master's palette. Educators, mentors, administrators were all flesh and blood entities, there to help, cajole, direct and make sure the Process was functioning properly.

Nowadays, there is so much information and knowledge available via the internet that we can learn new skills, languages and arts without ever having any direct contact with a human being. In music we are seeing immense technical abilities demonstrated by very young people who have had access - and made use of - this information. I'm afraid to watch YouTube, because I know I'll see a thirteen year old girl play a guitar solo better than I ever will.

So while Processes will always be with us, they are changing, and their efficacy is changing. For while technical prowess can - and is being - achieved, there's a possibility that the ... soul of the endeavor is being lost. There's nothing quite like sitting across from someone, face to face, and learning from them.

As an example - I can learn "Crow Jane" as performed by Skip James by watching it on the computer. But I can't learn the soul of the song.

Please enjoy this video of Skip James playing "Crow Jane"

Have a nice week everyone!

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