In the art of teaching, we recognize that ideas and insights need to cook over a period of time. Sometimes the student who is least articulate about expressing the ideas is in fact the one who is absorbing and processing them most deeply. This applies as well to our own private learning of our art form; the areas in which we feel most stuck and most incompetent may be our richest gold mine of developing material. The use of silence in teaching then becomes very powerful.
Creativity can replace conformity as the primary mode of social being. . . . We can cling to that which is passing, or has already passed, or we can remain accessible to-even surrender to-the creative process, without insisting that we know in advance the ultimate outcome for us, our institutions, or our planet. To accept this challenge is to cherish freedom, to embrace life, and to find meaning.
Many musicians are fabulously skilled at playing the black dots on the printed page, but mystified by how the dots got there in the first place and apprehensive of playing without dots. Music theory does not help here; it teaches rules of the grammar, but not what to say. When people ask me how to improvise, only a little of what I can say is about music. The real story is about spontaneous expression, and it is therefore a spiritual and a psychological story rather than a story about the technique of one art form or another.