Thursday, June 28, 2012

John Cage's Rules for Students and Teachers

Doug Riley, who I went to the Trinity Rep Conservatory with, shared this on Facebook a few days ago.  It made such an impression on me, I saved it and typed it up myself.  I have a feeling my students will be seeing it soon.

Some years ago, Cage posted this on the bulletin board at the Merce Cunningham Studio on Bethune Street; I walked passed there yesterday.

Ten Rules for Teachers and Students
John Cage

1.  Find a place you trust, and then, try trusting it for awhile.

2.  (General Duties as a Student)
Pull everything out of your teacher.
Pull everything out of your fellow students.

3.  (General Duties as a Teacher)
Pull everything out of your students.

4.  Consider everything an experiment.

5.  Be self-disciplined.  This means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them.  To be disciplined is to follow in a good way.  To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way.

6.  Follow the leader.  Nothing is a mistake.  There is no win and no fail.  There is only make.

7.  The only rule is work.  If you work, it will lead to something.  It is the people who do all the work all the time who eventually catch onto things.  You can fool the fans-  but not the players.

8.  Do not try to create and analyze at the same time.  They are different processes. 

9.  Be happy whenever you can manage it.  Enjoy yourself.  It is lighter than you think. 

10.  We are breaking all the rules, even our own rules, and how do we do that?  By leaving plenty of room for “x” qualities.

Helpful Hints:
Always be around.
Come or go to everything.
Read everything you can get your hands on.
Look at movies carefully and often.
SAVE EVERYTHING.  It may come in handy later.


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