Looking beyond the obvious for meaning

Remembering going on a school trip when you were younger? For you as a student, it might have been a welcome escape from the drudgery of classroom life, a chance to explore beyond the four walls.

Many of us will remember more perhaps the freedom of a school trip. Sure, you were still bound by rules of what to do, what not to do, timings you had to meet, language phrases in case you were stuck … but most of us would remember having the license to roam and explore, as the teacher really couldn’t be everywhere, supervising.

What the teacher’s role was on that day was being a meeting point rep, staying at a certain place, manning a certain phone, while students followed their inner guidance and came back if they had difficulties.

The freedom to explore one’s own instincts is a truly magical thing. It means you can go where your heart leads you, and the discoveries you make are meaningful and have relevance to you. What you learn, sticks with you. Most of us can remember events that happened on school trips, or family holidays vividly.

It is of more worth to the individual, in a history lesson, to actually see and experience a place, trying to visualise himself or herself as one living in that time and condition. For example, when we speak of the many that died in Flanders and the battlefields of northern France, they are just numbers in textbooks.

But take a trip to Flanders and see for yourself all the poppy wreaths laid down, and you will have a more meaningful idea of what war was like.

Music can have a similar experience too. According to Piano Teacher N4, music can take you on an incredible journey. When you play the piano, see it not just as a sheet of music with instructions you have to follow. Play the music, yes, but try to understand the person writing it, the composer, and what he was trying to convey. Why is there the sudden change from loud to soft in the music of Beethoven? What was Stravinsky trying to do with all the rhythmic motifs? If you seek to understand the motivation of the person behind the music, then it will hold more personal meaning for you. And like a school trip, you will be taken out of the walls of conventional thinking into a more meaningful experience.