Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Your Inner Infant

I am attempting to learn a few things at the moment. Some more from scratch than others. I did try learning the piano before (1998-2001) but gave up when study commitments took over. My attempts at guitar were less structured and much less significant and never really got anywhere. I am very interested in the first 100 hours of learning a new skill. Mostly because of the barrier it presents. My fingers feel like infants. I get bored quickly despite my very real long term desire to connect to music. I haven't had the time before to push through this. Reading an article by de Botton on Melanie Klein (1882 -1960), it seemed to capture the initial emotion of learning a new skill.
In relation to this mother, all the infant experiences are moments of intense pain and then, for reasons it can’t understand, moments of equally intense pleasure - Alain de Botton on Melanie Klein
The infants trauma is clearly far more intense. As an adult I know the end of my world hasn't come because my fingers won't do what they are supposed to. But it is easy to give up. Another de Botton article talked about the changing attitudes towards parenting and the theories of Donald Winnicott.
It must have felt very odd, in 1954, to tune into BBC Radio at prime time and hear someone, with a gentle, intelligent voice, arguing incisively against the idea that babies cry ‘to get attention’ - Alain de Botton on Donald Winnicott
I think there is something to learning in the First 100 hours that is similar to parenting. Parents have learnt that a child is not inherently evil when they misbehave or attention seeking when they cry. As adults learning new skills, perhaps we need to be similarly kind when learning new things that just because we can't do it, and our 'fingers won't listen', doesn't mean we are bad at that skill. We need to push through our infancy to the stage where we can play.
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