Barb’s Music Blog


I’ve been thinking lately about learning, both the process and how our viewpoints change throughout the process.

You probably all know the “official” summary of the steps of learning a skill or task:

1. Unconscious incompetence
2. Conscious incompetence
3. Unconscious competence
4. Conscious competence

Obviously we feel great about ourselves once we reach #4. We know what we’re doing, and we know that we know what we’re doing! However….

I got to thinking about the excitement and enjoyment of the process–from the point where we first get the thought, “Hey…I wonder what it would be like to learn (or do) ___!”

For instance, I always thought it would be cool to be able to score music to video or film. I didn’t have a clue where to start or how to go about it. Five weeks ago, I started “Film Scoring 101″ at Berklee Online. Weeks 1-4 covered the history of film, film terminology, spotting for music, camera angles and actions, etc.

This week–ah, the excitement!–this week is about SMPTE time code, adding markers, and actually working with video. I’ve wrestled with time code and frames, offset time-code start, and successfully calculated absolute time. It hardly even looks like Greek anymore! I even imported a video into Cubase, using the right settings so that the narration (audio) track came along with it.

Now I need to figure out how to create markers, calculate tempo for the best fit with the video, and…. But I don’t have a clue how to do that! I can’t even get the video to play so I can watch how it lines up with the audio, for crying out loud!

But tomorrow’s another day, right? For tonight, and most of tomorrow, I give myself permission to bask in the satisfaction of what I have learned. I know that someday I’ll actually be competent. In the meantime, I intend to celebrate each tiny victory and piece of knowledge that I gain.

After all, the 611-page Cubase manual wasn’t written in a day or a week, and neither was my Film Scoring course. Why should I expect to absorb their contents in that time frame?

1 comment

1 Comment so far

  1. Hussain August 6th, 2010 11:34 am

    I would put the steps of learning in this order:

    1. Unconscious incompetence
    2. Conscious incompetence
    3. Conscious competence
    4. Unconscious competence

    I think we go from deliberate learning to innate.

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