Happy New Year! I just read my first book in 2009, The Art of Learning: A journey in the pursuit of excellence, and wanted to share it with the Berkleemusic community.
Author, and eight-time National Chess champion, Josh Waitzkin chronicles his life through the lens of learning, focus, and achievement. The principles provided are solid and proven, and the real-life examples based on Waitzkin’s life experiences are intriguing and heart-warming.
The book is filled with information about how we learn, and is based on the findings of Dr. Carol Dweck, a leading researcher in the field of developmental psychology. Dweck looks at entity and incremental theories of intelligence and the behaviors associated with them as applied to learning. The information is great for anyone interested in lifelong learning.
Waitzkin makes the point that a key component of high-level learning is cultivating a resilient awareness that is the older, conscious embodiment of a child’s playful obliviousness. The “balance beam,” for example, is wide for child who will readily try again after falling. However, for an adult, the beam becomes much more narrow as we grow keenly aware of the risks and dangers of falling/ failing.
Continuing education and lifelong learning are the keys to any successful career path or endeavor, and Waitzkin’s ideas presented in this book are applicable to all pursuits.
I highly recommend The Art of Learning.