I spent last week working on the new book on ‘music in learning‘, taking time out of my everyday routine to dedicate to writing. I learnt a lot during that time. These short sabbaticals are invaluable: opportunities to develop new ideas and thinking, to capture where i am at a particular moment in time and to form a narrative around a subject. But it’s not a case of locking myself into a quiet room, throughout the writing process i’ve been engaged with my learning network and sharing sections of the writing online. It’s more a conversation.
This way of developing my own professional practice is important to me, because it lets me try out new ideas within fairly safe spaces: sure, there are challenges, but there is also a huge synergy, with people sharing thoughts and observations as we go. It’s far better to have a conversation along the journey rather than to get to the end and get all your feedback at once!
Our relationship with knowledge is changing: our ability to make connections, to draw meaning from what we see, to be agile, is more important than ever. It’s how we discover new ideas.
Last week was about discovery, but now that i’ve captured my thinking, developed my ideas, i start to move into application. I’m looking for what i can draw out of the writing to inform my professional practice. I’m trying to work out my narrative around the central story. For example, last week i was exploring how we convey messages through music and looking at how it differs between song, poetry, lyric and the spoken or written word. I was speaking to different practitioners to understand how they view this, as well as looking at the literature behind it. That gave me knowledge, but what i do with it is what will impact on my professional practice, so today i’m trying to capture my thinking in a model, something i can apply that draws upon this research. It’s my ability to do something with what i learn that makes me agile, or not.
Learning when surrounded by social networks is valuable: it gives us feedback and challenges us. But it’s our ability to synthesise that learning into action that really counts. That’s our ability to actually change things.
Ideas take time to develop, we have to try them out, rehearse our conversations, filter out the strong from the weak. Music conveys an evolutionary advantage: that’s why it survived, why it sits so strongly at the heart of how we communicate. We process it differently from speech, it draws us together, the processes of both playing or listening to it are inclusive. Music is richer than the written word. Exploring the world of music is helping me to develop a new strand to my thinking, slightly at a tangent, but valuable.