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The Music Lesson: A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,468 Ratings  ·  207 Reviews
From Grammy-winning musical icon and legendary bassist Victor L. Wooten comes The Music Lesson, an inspiring parable of music, life, and the difference between playing all the right notes and feeling them. Included throughout is new, original music written by Wooten and a bonus performance by the original Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published June 7th 2010 by Tantor Media (first published 2006)
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Oct 04, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've played the banjo for a couple years now. My only prior brush with playing music was piano lessons in the 4th and 5th grade. I'm glad I took them, i learned the basics of reading music and where middle C is, but apart from that, they didn't go so well. My younger brother and I were enrolled together and the piano teacher, Mrs. Blackburn, tried to keep us at the same level but he picked it up a lot quicker than I did and I was holding him back. He learned faster and played better. He did then ...more
Dec 15, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The common complaint I've heard about this book is that it is too "New-agey" and though I understand where people are coming from, this book is a really fascinating look at the elements of Music, and, therefore, life. Take the new-age stuff with a grain of salt, if it isn't your thing, but as a professional musician, it has helped me to return to the source of why i do this.
Feb 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had never heard of Victor Whooten until, completely by accident, I stumbled upon an internet discussion of him giving a commentary on his book. I was so captivated by the genuineness of his personality that I knew I had to read this book. It's a very unique and insightful story, as much about life, as it is about music. As for the story part, it was like stepping into a fairy tale that I desperately wanted to be true. However, the life lessons, as well as the music lessons, really gave me some ...more
Suzanne Moore
Dec 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music-books
I knew of Victor when I lived in Nashville. He used to frequent the music store where I worked. He is a friendly, peaceful, humble sort of guy, and always had words of encouragement when I began learning to play the banjo. After leaving Tennessee and moving to Texas my banjo stayed in the case more and life got busy. Now I'm living in North Carolina's High Country and surrounded by all sorts of old-time, bluegrass talent .. still a struggling amateur plucker.
Victor's book inspires me to relax a
Jun 01, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: tried-to-read
This book is kinda crap - or maybe I was simply to sober to fully comprehend the genius of Michael. All I needed was a bag of shrooms and a patchouli scented candle and it might have made sense.

Is the stuff being taught worthwhile? Sure, but for me the lessons were SO obvious that it was hard not to laugh out loud at his various unveilings of "genius". You mean music's not just about the notes?!?! Really!?!? I guess I spent too many years in reputable music schools to really appreciate this 'enl
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty dang woo-woo. I wish he'd just taken the important points and made a bulleted list instead of writing a whole book with this weird mystical-teacher-appearing-from-nowhere conceit. I could only read about 5 pages at a time, and I only read it because some of my students have to do a book report on it. And the ones who were assigned to read it will likely get something out of it, so fine, give this book to your serious late-teens music student who is just learning how to have deep thoughts.
This is influential bass guitarist Victor Wooten's response to numerous requests he's had to write a music instruction book. Rather than writing a traditional method book, however, Wooten chose a far more novel approach to music instruction. He creates a sort of personal mythology in which strange characters appear to him out of nowhere and take him on unpredictable journeys in which weird little miracles happen. These events are all for the purpose of teaching him how to be a great musician.

Jul 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am glad that I began my summer reading with the book “The Music Lesson” by Victor Wooten. This is a summer that I plan to begin to focus intensely on music or Music with a capital M as the author refers to it in The Music Lesson. This is a strange book at first. Wooten sets it up with an encounter with a mysterious music teacher named Michael. It is written much in the spirit of Carlos Castaneda’s works in that Michael is able to do incredible things by manipulating music and sound such as fin ...more
Brian Hutzell
Aug 08, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
Wooten has some valuable tips to offer but I found his advice diluted by the corny New Age framing story.
Feb 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this book and Victor Wooten separately but both completely by accident. Someone recommended Bela Fleck's Christmas album last December and I loved that. From there I found Wooten and bought tickets for his February L.A. show. Before that rolled around Audible had a sale on a few books and The Music Lesson was one of them. I thought "Woah Victor Wooten wrote a book!" Otherwise the trite-sounding title probably never would have made it into my shopping cart. The title and even the first co ...more
Mar 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-review
273 Pages
Anyone who wants to play music should read this book.
The main issue of the book is Victor trying to learn how to become a better musician
As long as the time was relatively recent, the story would still be intact.
Victor, the main character, is a confident, stern, and stubborn student, reluctant to learn and Micheal is a very interesting character who is infinitely wise and ready to teach.
Victor is a young, struggling bassist who can't even pay his rent. Just when things are toughest,
Dawn Lennon
Nov 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, music
Music is more than the mechanics of playing an instrument. Good music instructors don't teach, they show their students the way. That's a key Wooten message.

Getting beyond practice and music lessons is what this book offers. It's not about technique or theory, it's about understanding what Music is, where it resides (all around us), and how it manifests itself each time we play.

The author's chosen literary "voice" in this book is an other-worldly character, essential in order to take our underst
Tandava Brahmachari
An excellent book for anyone who wants to stop playing their instrument and start playing Music. Full of absolute gems -- of both musical and spiritual principles -- for expanding your awareness and consciousness, and experiencing not only Music but Life differently. A quick and easy read, but with lots of food for thought.

Very reminiscent of books like Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah or Way of the Peaceful Warrior: A Book That Changes Lives in the theme of eccentric spiritual t
Stefan Kanev
May 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh man, this book is great. Don't know how I picked it up (Amazon recommendation?), but definitely worth reading it. It's a bit hard to describe. It's a novel that tells the story of a fictional set of music lessons. The protagonist (the author) is napping on his couch after practicing his base, when he is woken up by a stranger entering his house, announcing "I'm your teacher". What follows is 200+ pages of conversations between them (and other characters) about music and musicianship. He's not ...more
Mar 25, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victor Wooten is a Grammy award winning musician whose quirky little book isn't just about music. As the subtitle suggests it's also about living intentionally and while I was less than impressed with Wooten's writing which can be a little too trite and cutesy the book was not entirely without merit. It's structured around a set of lessons intended to illustrate 10 important characteristics of good musicianship as explained by a mysterious cast of over-the-top characters who appear and disappear ...more
Oct 08, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: music
There is a lot of mystical mumbo-jumbo here that I have no use for. Full of pantheism and positive thinking, Wooten tries to write a spiritual book. Kind of like if Paulo Coelho's Alchemist strapped on a bass guitar.

But I like this book better than the Alchemist. Mostly because I like the bass guitar, and am a fan of Victor. The redeeming part of this book is that it is also a book about the elements of music. These seem to be the same elements as those he presented in his instructional DVD, Gr
May 31, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Victor Wooten takes you on a simple journey of discovery and understanding of music and how it infuses itself in everyday life. This eye opening journey applies to musicians as well as everyday individuals looking to enhance their lives by seeing the world for something bigger than it is. This book is infused with personal insight from on of the greatest bass players and musicians of our age. A must read for any musician looking to expand their understanding.
Feb 01, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Terrible. Pretentious and dull (not to mention the author's embarrassingly bad audiobook performance). Bass-genius Victor Wooten's guru-flavored "musician's self-help" book is almost unreadable. I listened to 2.5 hours and couldn't take it anymore. Fans of his music (me included) should stick to his music and skip this disaster.
This might have been too much happiness and good feeling for me...too much a feeling of hippy love or something. It also reminded me too much of The Shack. Some good points In the book. Definitely some points to ponder...but just too much sugary sweetness for my palate...I shall have to ponder this one a bit....
Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this audio book narrated by the author and it was absolutely phenomenal (and I am not exaggerating on that). It is a book for everyone filled with life lessons explained through the medium of music. One will not only learn a bunch about music but also about life and living. Please do yourself a favor and listen to this book. I don't think that reading it would have anywhere near the impact as listening it does. Highly recommended.
Anne Marie
"Ishmael" but with Music. The fantastical mysticism got to be a little too "woo-woo" for my cynical self, but I was captivated by the beginning and read it quickly all the way through. A must-read for anyone involved in music whether it be profesionally or not.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son, a musician, recommended this book to me. It reminded me of "The Shack." It was both spiritual and inspirational. I do not play music, so I feel I only understood half of it. I would highly recommend to to all musicians.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A gem for any musician in that it can give you a different way to think about music. However, the new age-y bits were odd to me, annoying even. I tried to keep an open mind.

I recommend the audiobook version as it's enhanced with Victor's excellent playing.
Mariel DeLacy
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Definitely loved it and was very inspired by his talk of Space and zero to make music happen. Loved how he talked about nature and music too. Filled with bits of wisdom and underlineable phrases.
William Guay
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Change définitivement la vision du lecteur (en tout cas,la mienne) en la laissant toutefois libre et autonome. Un MUST pour les amoureux de la musique!
Aug 02, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was far too sober to think this book was good or purposeful.
Andrew Lynn
Mar 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was amazing. All musicians should read it. It is a novel that will re-ignite your passion for music, and probably remind you about a few concepts that you forgot about. If you are like me and like audiobooks, this is a must have. Easily one of the best audiobooks I've ever done.
I can't give this book a review... I don't know that tgis us a bad book, but I just know it doesn't work for me!
Too much a parable or not enough one? Not sure...
Shay Atkinson
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super inspirational story blending fiction with philosophy. Totally made me a better bass player and listener.
Jun 01, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Naeem by: kamal
The premise is a bit far fetched and the writing a bit plain, but it works. A character with magical abilities and deep wisdom appears to Victor Wooten and takes him through a series of experiences and exercises which demonstrate that playing music is far, far more than technique; that an engagement with music is an engagement with the deepest aspects of meaning, spirit, and power; and that thinking about, playing, and listening to music are always ways of living life.

I am partial to the pedago
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