Joe Ascione and His Brave New World
JA: Well, there's going to be a DVD.
JA: Yeah, in the not-too-distant future. But I teach now, I don't know what I would do. I'm not thinking about that right now.
AAJ: Um...that was a stupid interviewer questionlike I didn't hear anything that you've said to me...
JA: ...for the past forty minutes! (we laugh)
AAJ: Sorry, I'll take it back (makes sound of tape running backwards).
JA: That's OK. Part of me does enjoy teaching; I'm on the faculty of the New School. And I was chatting with one of the drummers on this cruise ship. We were talking about some different rhythms, and we sat downit was almost like a lesson, we were just chatting like thisand I enjoy that. I don't think of teaching as you're a teacher and there's the student, but that you're a transmitter of information.
And if they didn't get it, you didn't use the right language, because everybody learns differently. You have to paint a picture, or write it in text, or apply it in the "real," or they have to read it in theory. You have to also discern how a person learns. I know how I learn, so I can't just assume everyone learns that way.
AAJ: How do you learn?
JA: I learn by doing. I'm a hands-on person.
AAJ: Me too. You see this? (holding up black leather case)
JA: What is that?
AAJ: I have a brand-new digital camera.
JA: Yeah, and you haven't opened that book yet. You push the button, see if it goes on, and thenoh look, I just zoomed in!OK, that's what that does. Yeah. That's the way I do things. Now some drum students I've had are very, very cerebral, and they need things written out, and they'll take it home, work on it methodically, and come back with that completed. So I'll transmit the information that way.
Joe Ascione, Dr. Judith Schlesinger and Tom Kennedy
Another person: "OHHHHHH! It's like when the stars are shining!!" OK, Mr. Abstract. Sure. Let me see what the color yellow is on the drums. And they get it. So that's how that person learns. It's a trip.
AAJ: It's so much fun when you see the light go on in somebody's eyes...
JA: ...when they get it. 'Cause you want them to share the fun and joy that you have. They say misery loves companyI think joy loves company.
AAJ: But misery sells newspapers.
JA: That's why I don't read the newspaper. And if you put the news on, I'd rather they say, "Little Johnny got a 97 on his test today. Yaaaay! Aunt Marge won the cake bakeoff. Yaaaay!" Why do I have to read about the bad things? Life is a challenge in itself.