minstrel: aid for baby bards

mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU mn13189 at WCUVAX1.WCU.EDU
Tue Mar 11 08:57:24 PST 1997

On Tue, 11 Mar 1997, Harold Feld wrote:

> Of course, this is something of ahot button form me, in that I really hate
> the idea that folks who perform have "talent"...

Actually, I have heard quite a few who don't ;)  (joking, guys, I'm
I remember an article I read some time back by Efenwealt Wystle (one of
the guys who really encouraged me when I was starting out as a bard), in
which he said the bardic arts were 10% talent and 90% hard work.  That
extra 10% can help, and can make a good bard great.  But even if you lack
natural talent, you can still put in that other 90% and be a d**m good

> >> And yet, without criticism, people generally don't correct chronic
> >> problems, as they generally don't recognise them. Criticism, done
> >> right, is a necessary step towards turning a bad performer into a
> >> tolerable one, a mediocre one into a good one, and even a good one
> >> into a great one.
> This is absolutely dead-on true, and one of the worst failings of the SCA
> system generally.  Frankly, I see no reason why thius comment should be
> singled out as somehow offensive or indelicate.

I think it's dead on true, also.  I wasn't singling it out as offensive.
I singled it (and the other quote) out because these valid points on
constructive critisism seemed contradictory to the original poster's
opening arguement of "your opinion is a load of crap."  I wholeheartedly
agree with constructive criticism, not just in a "workshop" scenario, but
wherever two opinions clash.  
	I can see where Pendar got his point that bardic arts cannot be
taught.  I don't agree with that point, but I can understand why he would.
to illustrate, I have a hard time seeing how writing can be taught
(poerty, songs, stories, essays, etc.)  I have always had the ability to
write well.  it got me through school.  I've taken several writing classes
and so forth, and gained nothing from them.  The exercises were pointless
to me, especially seeing as I had this natural ability to write well.
BUT, I could see that others were benifitting from teh instruction who did
not have this natural talent, and their writing did improve.  So you can
teach writing.  I would think the same would apply to the bardic arts.
One who can naturally judge audience reaction, has a strong and plaesant
voice to begin with, etc., would have a hard time seeing how things that
come to them so "naturally" can be taught.  I, for instance, would make a
horrible writing teacher, because I don't understand the process of
"learning" to write.  But something else that I had to forcibly learn in
school, like say Algebra (brrrr....), I could teach, because I went
through that process.  Make any sence?  Just a different way of looking at

> People *need* feedback, properly administered.

Exactly true.  There is nothing more frustrating in the world than putting
forth something you have worked on for feedback, and getting the response
"good".  Good means nothing.  SOme people need precise feedback, while
others need more general stuff.  It all depends on the level of the

> True, but I would beg that we not fall into the trap so frequent on the
> Rialto, of devoting endless posts to abstract questions of courtesy while
> getting nastier and nastier (not that you have done this, but a warning now
> may avoid a useless exchange).

In the immortal words of Forrest Gump.  "That's all I have to say about
Heeding your advice...

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