Pupils & Pros

I’ve reviewed all three current editions of the HMMS and doing so has made me realize something. Letting the audience drive the clinic can be a really bad idea.

It would seem that people are prone to ask certain question of clinicians just for the novelty of it being explained live. Jojo Mayer still gets questions about hand technique even though he has an entire DVD dedicated to the subject. Steve Gadd still gets questions about that groove that he did with that guy’s band even though there are transcriptions and videos of what he played all over the internet. And Bernard Purdie will still get asked about the Purdie Shuffle no matter how well documented it is.

My point is that a lot of valuable time that could be spent teaching something new is wasted on stuff that is covered too death. If you can easily find the same information somewhere else or already know the answer to the question… DON’T ASK IT! You do the entire audience a disservice when you ask a question or ask for a demonstration that takes time away from newer material.

That being said, It’s ultimately the clinician’s job to make sure his clinic is the best clinic that he can give. if he gets a bunch of crappy questions from the audience it’s his fault. It means he didn’t screen the questions or didn’t do a very good job of it. Does anyone else remember having a teacher that you could get to go waaaayyyy off topic if you brought up certain subjects? The same principal applies here. Allowing the students to drive the clinic through their questions can be a very very bad idea. Especially if you are an inexperienced teacher or already had a set plan that you now must deviate from.

While it’s the responsibility of the teacher to make sure a class is the best learning experience possible, that doesn’t remove the responsibility of the class to be best bunch of students they can be. So bear that in mind if you ever wanna ask Jojo Mayer how he does that crazy thing with his hands when he’s talking about tuning the drums.

I’ll have more posts about what I think can help improve clinics later. After all… better clinics mean better DVD’s for me to review.

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