Matt paraphrases Ellison:
First there are the things that you know you know – that’s probably a small section, maybe 10 or 15 percent. Then there’s a larger part, which is the things you know you don’t know. Perhaps 30 or 35 percent. The biggest section is the things you don’t know that you don’t know. That’s the darkest, and it can be the most frightening, but it’s also where the greatest learning begins.
…and offers some commentary of his own:
Ellison usually starts out a lesson by asking the student a question – how did that go, do you have any thoughts, what issues are you working on here? That just sheds some light on the known unknowns, those problems we’re already however dimly aware of. Then he likes to steadily, and sometimes stealthily, open up the world of unknown unknowns. He’ll ask a question about the phrase structure or the period performance practice – or he’ll sneak around and adjust your arm and say, “Now try it like this!” It’s all calculated to reveal some of the possibilities you hadn’t even considered. I think of him as a yoga teacher on the double bass, always pushing his students into a deeper, more inspired, more flexible place.
A very Socratic approach to double bass teaching, and a very effective one if done intelligently (which is certainly the case in an Ellison lesson).
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