No one ever said that teaching the violin is easy, Here is yet another reason why and it’s a biggie.
On my last post I made the comment that “self-delusion is very common among violin students.” I have been called on it – a very thoughtful violin teacher asked my opinion on what causes it. “Perhaps,” he asks, “it’s something other than a self-preservation instinct or limits due to overall maturity?” And then he gets to his real worry, “And it would be interesting to think about whether some self-delusion training is accidentally or inextricably built into early childhood teaching and parenting.”
Wow. I can certainly understand this last concern – I know he is about to become a father and is most likely worried that he might unknowingly scar his child for life – a concern all good parents have, in my experience with lots of them. And good teachers.
The answer is, no, we are not ruining our kids, turning them into self-deluding-head-in-the-sand ostriches. They are doing a nice job of it all by themselves. You see, apparently self delusion, self-deception and avoidance are hardwired into our brains (our hardware) and into our personalities (our software) on many levels. Our brains are deceiving us. So are our egos, AKA, our personalities.
First, let’s define terms. I have been all over the internet trying to find the difference between self-delusion and self-deception. While psychiatrists make some distinctions, psychologists make others, and yet many others say it’s the same thing. So, somewhat perplexed, I decided to go straight to an excellent source, a friend who happens to be a well known psychiatrist* (doesn’t everyone in this profession need a psychiatrist friend?), who concurred that they’re pretty much the same thing. Therefore, for the purposes of clarity, let’s say that self-delusion and self-deception are the same and I will use them interchangeably as do some articles I have read. And for the sake of brevity, let’s just say that self-delusion or self-deception is allowing yourself to believe something that isn’t true.¹ Continue reading