See HERE and HERE for earlier entries in the Hot KoKo saga.
Jude and I came to perfectionism in very different ways. She attended and excelled at St. Paul’s Catholic School where the nuns made it clear that there was ONE right way to do anything and everything. I went the math and science route. My physics professors were, perhaps, slightly more open to heterodoxy than the nuns who taught Jude— but not much.
I go into this history because it applies directly to the art of learning new and difficult things. The notion that there is one right answer, paralyzes human creativity. In order to be creative, we need to have enough freedom to be wrong. More importantly, we need permission to be wrong again and again and again. This permission has two sources.
1) We need to feel that the people around us care about us enough to suspend their usual expectations of us a capable, skillful individuals. The best encouragement transfers that positive emotion from our performance to our person. It is person centered.
2) We need to give ourselves permission to be utterly incompetent. If you are sensing a theme here— you are correct. Adulthood deifies competence and competence stifles growth and creativity. Huh? What? Being competent cuts us off from that wellspring of new ideas— ERROR.
So Hot KoKo’s musical journey is filled with error— and will (I hope) — always be filled with error. The nun’s and the physics professors that we encountered did us a favor by teaching us how to do things right.
Now, we are doing ourselves a favor by teaching ourselves how to make music as if the music was more important than we are. We are learning that the song has a life of its own and, if we are lucky, and if we don’t mind screwing up, we can share in that life by letting it flow through us.