Monday, 20 April 2009

Placeholder post

Too many things to think about, let alone to post about! My brain, at the moment, is all about big ideas, general concepts, broad careless strokes of a chunky brush dipped in searingly bright colours. It's in my practising, my teaching, even composing (such as it is) is coming at me in big forms and harmonic structure rather than melodic line and fine nuance.

Typical, then, that this week in my academic work I need to write a report on Big Project, a meticulously detailed report of what I learned and how I learned it, complete with appendices, tables and charts. As someone who normally does that sort of learning in a more organic and intuitive way, I'm struggling a little to identify these things, but as a teacher and a musician I can do self-scrutiny well enough; as someone who thinks the structure of the assignment is not actually that helpful to the learning process I'm resentful of having to jump through the hoop. But the biggest problem is really that I keep getting distracted by big ideas.

The way I usually work through ideas is to talk about them or write about them.

Things I would like to write about, right here and right now, but for which I really haven't got the spare brain cycles:

-How my spirituality/beliefs relate to teaching music; how I can be more generally supportive of the families I work with, through music teaching and not in any overtly religious framework; how to pray about teaching
-I've touched on it a bit before, but more on music performance and spirituality and my current understanding of the relationship between the two
-Chronic pain and how I deal with that and various other physical and mental health difficulties. I'm not actually sure I can do this without turning it into a whinge-fest or completely destroying the fragile anonymity I'm trying to maintain here.
-Words and meaning; images and meaning; sounds and meaning. In the beginning there was the Word, we're told--but do we mean the word, or do we mean meaning itself? And how does this relate to our being made in God's image, and being creators of meaning ourselves?
-Psalmody and how/why it seems to work so much better for me when chanted or sung; the line between speaking and chanting, and between chanting and singing. I'd quite like to do lots of research into chanted/sung psalmody in the Jewish tradition and how that relates to the worship patterns of the early Church. And I'd like to get to know it all so much better, and find or help create an authentic, aesthetic and accessible sung/chanted Psalmody for English translations. Yes, lots of work is being done on this already; I'm essentially playing catch-up, in an academic sense. Meanwhile I keep singing them in Morning Prayer, and one day indeed pours out its song to another as in Psalm 19 this morning.
-Material poverty (of others) and asceticism (the temptation to it in myself, and a certain pointlessness). I really haven't ironed out my thoughts on this.
-FaceBook, Twitter, blogging, other ways of keeping in touch and building communities online and how I see (and how I use) these various tools.
-Food and prayer and (especially shared) meals, and an assortment of thoughts I've been having on these recently; Eucharist and sacrament within and without standard liturgy; this also relates to creating a welcoming home, and to being spiritual/religious in a pluralist/secular society, creating rituals that can be shared and meaningful without excluding anyone or making them feel uncomfortable.

The assignment will have to come first, I'm afraid. And I've got a busy week in other terms as well, so need to be careful not to commit to too much yet. But I might be able to write about one of these by Saturday-ish. Which would you like to read?


Ostrich said...

A new version of an old standard edition. Complete and pointed. Recommended on your search for a psalter...

Song in my Heart said...

Shiny! Thank you.

And student loan just in last week too. Dangerous...

8thdayplanner said...

I would love to read your thoughts on the relationship between music and spirituality.

it's margaret said...

I like the image of thoughts like chords, or not. cool.

As to the "word" spoken at creation.... there is no separation between meaning or sound or hearing it or the symbolization or any of that.... it is one whole thing that IS.

hmmmm.... thinking of sounds of chords and meaning..... hmmmmm

it's margaret said...

It's Thursday --thinking of you doing BIG things!

Song in my Heart said...

Thanks, Margaret. It's Friday here and I've soundly missed my academic deadline and will lose 10% for it... trying to remain philosophical about it, as I gave up the idea of the numbers being much related to the learning a long time ago.