Art TED-Ed

The music teacher you wish you had

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick May

Far too many of us still have flashbacks to piano lessons, when an uber-serious teacher would rap our knuckles after every wrong note. If only we had taken bass lessons from Victor Wooten of the band Béla Fleck and the Flecktones. In the video above — the first ever live-action TED-Ed lesson — five-time Grammy winner Wooten explains that music is a language and that learning to play it shouldn’t be a militaristic affair.

“Think about the first language you learned as a child,” says Wooten in the video. “You were a baby when you first started speaking, and even though you spoke the language incorrectly, you were allowed to make mistakes. The more mistakes you made, the more your parents smiled.”

Watch above, as Wooten envisions a way of learning music whereby children are encouraged to do their own thing and to practice alongside better musicians in order to sharpen their skills.