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Schooled Vs. Self-taught

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Schooled Vs. Self-taught

Postby Obsidian » Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:20 am

Wasn't sure where to put this so I thought I'd stick it here.

As a musician, there's a big difference and 'stigma' surrounded lessons vs. teaching yourself. Personally I sit on the fence a bit about it. I've taught myself piano, most of what I play on guitar and I've had vocal lessons. A pretty decent mix. My observations so far are that I would have advanced a lot quicker in the various fields had I had lessons however.

I'm wondering what some other people's stances are regarding the two schools of thought. How does it relate to your everyday life and your magical endeavors?

There's the old saying, "If I see further (or reach higher) it is because I stand on the shoulders of giants". I think that may well hold very true for Omnimancy given the origins and way the system came about.

My own views (especially in my music) is that lessons are useful but not to the detriment of your own research and work. Anyone can teach that a dominant 7 chord resolves nicely down a fifth but it doesn't mean anything to you or become useful without a lot of practice and really internalizing it. Learning how to feel it and hear it, apply it effectively and not be overzealous. That's part of the reason I've not ventured out for piano lessons (money being the other) because I would like to retain some of my individuality and experimentation without being told what is 'right' and how to play.

Sports are another place self-taught vs. schooled becomes a big argument. Can anyone suggest any other areas? Any thoughts?
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Re: Schooled Vs. Self-taught

Postby LordArt » Mon Feb 27, 2012 11:53 am

I've always been in the self-taught camp. I self taught myself programming, magic and a lot of things. My life has been much harder because of that. But I'm more of a trail blazer personality. I have the intellect and modivation to do what isn't normally done. (One or the other isn't enough as I've witnessed in others). If you don't have enough of either, you might as well take lessons. Yes, you'll end up being more molded, but you'll advance far further. Doesn't mean you can't keep your individuality within the mold. But I ask you, based on the fact it's taken 20 years to develope what people now learn in a little over 2, which was the easier path? Unless you have that level of modivation to keep going that long with everyone telling you "you are full of shit" or "it can't be done", don't take the self-taught route. Admittedly, it depends on your goals. ;)

My $.02 for the road...
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Re: Schooled Vs. Self-taught

Postby Osele » Tue Feb 28, 2012 11:11 am

Art is absolutely right. I personally believe that it all comes down to necessity and interest.

If one has the necessity for something, and the interest to do it, they will do it, and do it well - irrespective of whether they attend classes or not. However, if one simply wants to do something, and doesn't really feel a pressing need for it, it might be better to take up lessons to make sure that s/he follows it through.

I think that's enough, but to elaborate a bit, it also does have an effect on your resultant system and knowledge of things: when self-taught, you will adapt and specialize in precisely what you have an interest in (in magic, for example, you could be very good with constructs but horrible at astral combat), but taking classes geared towards a general perspective will give you a grounding (assuming the classes are good) in the basics of everything.
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Re: Schooled Vs. Self-taught

Postby Obsidian » Tue Mar 06, 2012 5:37 am

In my life I've done both and I can definitely see the pro's and con's of both methods.

What you mentioned Art, being a trail-blazer, is an unfortunately all-too-uncommon personality trait these days. Being able to push forward and keep going despite others telling you you should pack it in is so rare, it's sad. For me, with music, I've had a lot of that but kept going despite it. I wasn't necessarily trying to blaze a trail but even working forward through established methods can be tough if other people give you hell for it.

As far as your magical system goes, it's definitely the easier route to be 'taught' rather than discover it or figure it all out the hard way but I wonder if that means the person will never really 'get it' the same way you do. Could be why no-one can take you on in combat effectively =P

I like how you worded it too Osele. If you NEED to do it you'll figure it out pretty fast. Sink or Swim. But if it's something you WANT to do lessons make it so much easier. I want to learn French and lessons will help me out. If I were over there and HAD to learn, lessons AND self-taught would probably be the best bet but you wouldn't have any choice but to figure as much of it out for yourself as possible.

Interesting point with the specialisation. I would argue that a smart person will, whilst specialise in some aspects, not let the other parts fall by the wayside but I know that isn't necessarily the case. If you're making a lot of progress on a certain topic it's going to be hard to take the time to work on the things you suck at.

My background is music (as I've said a few times) and the two different methods are very, very distinct. A lot of self-taught guitarists shun the schooled type because they feel it 'inhibits creativity' whereas the schooled ones will look down on the self-taught because it 'lacks technique'. With singers, a lot of them refuse lessons (despite vocal troubles) because they don't want someone to change 'their sound'. There's quite a big gulf between the two methods.

I've learnt lately for myself just how much quicker one can grow with a teacher (especially a good one). My guitar playing had been slowly improving but a good teacher stimulated more growth in two weeks than the 2 months beforehand. Obviously that rate isn't going to remain constant but it always makes me wonder how much further ahead I'd be if I'd started with the teacher earlier on.
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Re: Schooled Vs. Self-taught

Postby CameronD » Mon Jul 16, 2018 3:14 pm

I'm a big fan of learning from others. No better way of skipping steps and rapidly learning what took much longer for others. I believe it's the same when it comes to Omni too.
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