On Jamming....and our mother tongue

 "Did you speak English (insert your own mother language) every day when you were a baby?" he asked.

"Well, not exactly." Apparently there was more. 

"Do you need to speak English every day to get better at it?" he asked. 

"No, I don't." 

"Then what's missing?" 

"I don't know." My frustration grew. "Just tell me." 

"Jamming!" he stated with a slight nod of his head. 


"Jamming!" he repeated. "That is the missing element. When you were a baby, you were allowed to jam with the English language. From day one, not only were you allowed to jam, you were encouraged to. And better yet, you didn't just jam; you jammed with professionals. Just about everyone you communicated with when you were a baby was already a master of the English language. And because of that you are now a master." 

"A master?" I inquired. 

"A genuine master," he confirmed. "The only reason you are not called a master is that everyone else is just as good at it as you are. Everyone is a master. Think about it. If you were as good at Music as you are at English, you would surely be considered a master. Would you not?" ....."There are only two elements that allowed you to become a master of the English language at such a young age. Only two: being surrounded by it, and jamming with it. That's it!" 

 -----Conversation between teacher and student on the nature and effect of an environment filled with excellent music where the student is encouraged to jam.

Excerpted from "The Music Lesson" by Victor L. Wooten