What am I doing here?

Yesterday I sat through my first math class in about 12 years.

There were symbols and concepts I knew, some that were coming back to me, and some I’d never seen in my life.

It is a good experience being an outsider again. To be a little lost. I will have music students who are outsiders to the kind of music I teach and the way I teach it. And this experience will give me a fresh perspective on what that can be like, and give me more skills and empathy for accommodating them.

Every field has its own language. It’s not the only possible way of communicating those ideas, but you have to learn the language if you want to communicate with others in the field clearly. Within music, each style and period uses different words and symbols. Some styles have a lot of overlap, some have very little.

New experiences instill new ideas and perspectives. If we spend too much time in one environment, we diminish our capacity for empathy and creativity.