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The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music Paperback – April 1, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 278 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"As music lessons go, this one is unique and can be enjoyed by both musicians and general listeners, especially those interested in the arts and creativity." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Victor L. Wooten has won four Grammy Awards, two Nashville Music Awards for Bassist of the Year, is the only three-time winner of Bass Player magazine's Bass Player of the Year, and is an original member of the Grammy Award-winning ensemble BA1/2la Fleck & the Flecktones.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; 37637th edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425220931
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425220931
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (278 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Before you read this book, open your mind to the possibility that the universe may be very different from your version of reality. This is not a book about music theory or how to play the bass. It is a wonderful and playful revelation about the relationship between Music and your life. Both will change for the better if you are willing to leave behind what you already think you know.

Victor weaves an unbelievably believable tale which unites ideas about space, time, numbers, and nature into a new view of Music as a living, breathing being. Fans of Richard Bach and Tom Brown, Jr., will enjoy this new perspective on their work.

Frankly, music players who are uncomfortable away from the written page of music will be uncomfortable with this book. Improvisors of all kinds will know you have come home.
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I"m a professional musician. Been playing music for 24 years. This is perhaps the best book about music that I've ever read. If you want to get to a deeper level in your musicianship, read this book. Music is spiritual - that's inescapable. Are you keenly aware of this? Or do you think that's a lot of gobbly goop? Either way, read this book. If you want to understand the types of things that MASTERS of music meditate about music, read this book. I've bought this book 4 times for musician friends. I think it should be required reading for every jazz performance college curriculum in the nation. The best 10 or 20 buck you can spend on music education.

As a teacher, this book gave me a lot of revelation about methodological approach. I have some VERY excited and deeply appreciative students. I'm grateful to Victor Wooten for his influence on me!!!!
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Format: Paperback
I've read and reviewed a book by another musician, Kenny Werner, called 'Effortless Mastery'. Some of the things covered in that book are touched upon in Victor's book, The Music Lesson. However, I must say that Victor has certainly found a way to show us the intangibles of music while demystifying so much of what holds we musicians back from really playing. His treatise on music brings to the fore important elements not usually emphasized in a practicing musician's learning. I found the book to be extremely practical while completely engrossing. Victor's decided approach to the subject at hand is unique, clever, and enjoyable. Much like his character in the book (Victor Wooten), I can't remember the last time I had so much fun learning the 'abc's' of music and more to the point, life itself!

One last comment about the book which I am surprised no one else has mentioned (at least if they did I missed it), and that is the proximity of one Jaco Pastorius to the Michael character. I find myself wanting to ask, is Michael Jaco? I am amazed that that question doesn't seem to be answered at all in the book's pages (again, unless I missed it). Then again, maybe it is so obvious, it is I who am a fool for bringing it up.

Either way, I highly recommend this book for a really great read.
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Format: Paperback
I was a bit turned off by the sub-title. I have very little interest in the spiritual perspective of the world's greatest bass player.

I was grateful that I could read the first chapter online, which sets the tone for the entire book.

The Music Lesson is a fun, entertaining exploration of music from a fictional perspective. There are many important lessons and ideas about music in each chapter. Many of these lessons trigger more questions than answers, which is Victor's way of expressing the importance of self-discovery and "finding your own voice".

I was blessed to attend one of Victor's Bass / Nature camps, so I was able to experience Victor's approach to inspiring others to experience music. I learned to get past my academic background of music theory and explore music with the mind of a child.

I still recommend learning theory, but also recommend this book as a fun read and an opportunity to think of music in a refreshing light.
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Let me start off by saying Victor Wooten is an amazing bassist and if I even achieve a fraction of his mastery I'll die feeling accomplished. That said, I'd also gathered from watching some of his interviews that he was, well, a little flaky, and I knew going into this book that it wouldn't be a traditional technique guide by any means. But I still bought this book off the strength of the reviews and respect for Victor's musicianship, hoping at least for a new perspective and some inspiration.

What I got was...regrettable. If you go into this book looking for any insight into how to play music better, it has very little to offer you. Some, but not much. The book provides the fictional account of Victor hitting a rough spot in his musical career and not being sure where to go next, when suddenly a magical Native American, free-spirited skateboard-riding "music teacher" appears in front of him and drops all kind of mental gems he'd never thought possible. At first, he resists the advice of this strange being, but more and more it starts to make sense and revolutionizes how he feels about music. Sorry, Music with a capital M. This cliche is already old by the end of the first chapter, and it doesn't change or get any better from there.

Just to give you an idea of what's in this book (spoilers, though I don't feel like there's much to spoil): on top of learning to play music better you'll also learn how to find a specific CD out of a collection of hundreds just by following the CD's energy, heal a recent car crash victim (also with your energy), talk to animals, and a whole lot of other stuff that I don't care to remember.
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