The Music Lesson

A Spiritual Search for Growth Through Music
Narrated by: Victor L. Wooten
Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (1,075 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Boy, do I have a lot to learn!" Anyone who's ever picked up a musical instrument of any kind - from the first caveman banging rocks to that little kid at the guitar shop - has thought that. I know I did. I'd been trying for years to break in to the music scene, to show everyone my chops, to make my mark. And I was good. But I wasn't great. I knew that there was something wrong.

"Then the teacher showed up. I didn't ask for him. I didn't think I needed him. And all he said he could teach me was 'nothing'.

"What happened next, you may not believe...I sure didn't...but that didn't stop him."

The Music Lesson is the inspiring story of a young bass player and the lessons he learns about Life, Music, and the Life of Music. Throughout this audiobook is new, original music written by Victor Wooten and a bonus performance by the original supergroup Bela Fleck and the Flecktones.

©2006 Victor L. Wooten (P)2010 Tantor

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Surprise like no other!

This buy was a shot in the dark. Never heard of Victor or this book. My expectations were very low. But I needed to motivate myself as I could not bring myself to practising my guitar. So I gave this one a try and Lord ... whata a find. I love how the words are backed by music in the background (although I find Mike's performance irritatingly overacted) and I can't get enough of the content. Music as mystery and invisible mighty force. No phony stuff and cheap superficial spiritualism (at least to my mind). That's what you will find there.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Zen Bass

Any additional comments?

This is similar to the books 'Zen Guitar' and 'Effortless Mastery', except it focuses on a bass player instead of a guitar player. Another differentiator is that this audio book is punctuated with great music. (Except for the musical subvocalizations when 'Music' is speaking, which are really distracting). The stories are fantastical on purpose - he is trying to illustrate and emphasize his points about music (and life). The strictly literal minded will probably not like this book. Ditto for people who think "notes" are the end-all and be-all of music. Ditto for the people who only like one style of music and hold all other forms of musical expression in disdain. I think this book should be nearly required listening for all musicians. I've listened to it 3 times now. It is great.

25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

20 years too late

Truthfully, it's right on time. I think the book should have been called 'The Lesson'. Although Wooten presents this is a dialogue primarily about music between teacher and student, the concepts are equally transferable to any subject. Reminiscent of 'Zen and the Art of Archery'.

21 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Even better than the book!

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I read the book and enjoyed it immensely. The thing that I liked about it is that it brought the dialogue to life. Having an ensemble cast really added to the content.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Music Lesson?

The first time that I heard him play and demonstrate the concept that the book was talking about. Great stuff.

Which character – as performed by Victor L. Wooten – was your favorite?

Michael

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No

Any additional comments?

It was definitely entertaining. I'll listen to it again and again!

8 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Fun if You are Open to It

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I would recommend it to friends that are open to ZEN, Learning, or Music. This type of fiction adventure to share mystical concepts, which can be helpful or even important life lessons, can be very powerful for those who are ready for them and can be a serious turn off for those not ready. It isn't something I could recommend without knowing the other person well.

What other book might you compare The Music Lesson to and why?

Way of the Peace Warrior by Millman. The Music Lesson is much more light hearted and uses the learning of Music as its focus. But both books use adventures with a mystical "teacher" to lead the "student" on a journey of learning.

Any additional comments?

Listening to this story with friends that don't quite get it but are open can lead to interesting discussions. Just remember to be kind and loving with your friends. Let them pick up what they can use and don't push anything they can't handle.

5 people found this helpful

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Deeply Profound

There is an old saying, "When the student is ready, the master will appear." That's how this book is setup, with the author's teacher showing up to teach a professional bass player how to play music, and that's how this book found its way to me. It was the right message at the right time, and there is simply not enough I can say about it that will sing its praises properly.

There are a great many self-help books out there, just as there are a great many musical instruction books and books on fundamental spirituality. This book is all three at once - a masterpiece in its own right - and so much more. Sometimes for a message that's always been with us to be heard properly is for it to be presented in a new way, providing that shift in focus that clicks everything into place. Being musically inclined, that's precisely what this audiobook did for me.

As a narrator, Wooten is superb. He tells the story in such a way that we are learning right along with him at the feet of a teacher who will show us "nothing." Indeed, that's the whole message of the story, that we already know everything we need to know. From another person, this message might seem unbelievable or completely trite, but Wooten's tale makes you believe it. If I have one regret about this book, it's that it sat in my wish list for far too long... but then, perhaps I wasn't ready for it until now.

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Very interesting

This book is written in the form of a parable. The narrator is visited by a mystic teacher that guides him through learning ten of the elements that are a part of music. If you are forgiving of an occasional insult to your intelligence and are patient with the length of time it takes to make a point, then you can get a lot out of this book. The good outweighs the bad. As a bonus, the music that is sprinkled in is fantastic. I Really enjoyed it.

This is a good listen for musicians of any instrument regardless of aptitude or experience. It serves as a reminder of what is important about music.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great creativity and inspiration for musicians

This audiobook is pure joy to listen to, and the production is totally amazing. It is addressed to musicians in particular, and it is of great inspiration and depth.
A full five stars.

9 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Uplifting and Inspiring

Would you consider the audio edition of The Music Lesson to be better than the print version?

Havent read the print version but hearing Victor Wooten read is great.

What did you like best about this story?

Hearing Victors songs in the background and during chapter transitions

Which scene was your favorite?

Listening to the lady with her crystal ball talk about the number 0

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When he talks about Music as an entity not just something produced by humans

Any additional comments?

A must read for aspiring musicians

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A must for music lovers

A entertaining book that weaves perspective and philosophy into an engaging story.
The Music Lesson offer unique insights from one of the world's most talented musicians.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cormac
  • 04-07-13

Fantastic

I really enjoyed this. This book offered me a different perspective on bass playing and introduced me to some new ways of playing. It also mentions many great bass players and great bass lines I hadn't heard before. I'd recommend this to any musician but obviously its best for bass players. The accompaniment music is tasteful and not distracting. The narration is clear. all in all a five star audiobook for me.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Luc
  • 03-03-20

Best audio book!

With the added music from Victor and all the different voices. It's like seen a movie with your eyes closed!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-19-20

Amazing and inspiring

If you are (or call yourself) a musician you have to listen to this. This is gonna change your perspective on music and life. Sure, Victor is not a writer and you can tell sometimes, but the messages given here are solid and inspiring. Great stuff here!

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  • Mr. J. Ambler
  • 01-29-20

Required reading for bassists!

Been playing for nearly 25 years. First book that’s made be bolt upright, and change my attitude to music.
Loved the narration, the score, and even though some of it got a little new-agey sometimes, the core of it was undeniably gold, even to an atheist!
Superb book, one of the rarities I’ll listen to again

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  • Marcia Forde
  • 12-11-19

Fantastic!

Love this book. It's not only educational and informative and will help my music learning but also very uplifting and entertaining. A lovely contribution to a better world!

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  • Michael Maksymiw
  • 10-12-19

Inspirational!

Musos get listening. Theres magical mojo in this book I thoroughly enjoyed it and could relate to it on every level.

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  • alex robinson
  • 09-19-19

amazing book

loved it.
start to finish it keeps you entertained and educated. fantastic teachings, and audio book performance

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-19

love it

A perfect mixture of fiction(?), practical learning and entertainment. I absolutely loved it!
I found myself being excited to listen to it each day.

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  • StevieK
  • 06-17-18

The Music Lesson

A very interesting and informative story. As someone who enjoys playing with music and sounds, I loved the characters and the insights they offer about music and life. A compelling and easy to listen.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-25-18

beautiful

I loved it
I hope every musician reads it
changed my idea of music totally
I am now a better musician and not just a guitarist

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  • Oliver
  • 11-30-16

This is what the bible should be

Amazing book, absolutely life changing, a must read book for anyone and everyone, a path to help you discover the universal truth, explore the depths of reality with Victor Wooten as your guide as you are whisked along a fantastic journey that will open your mind to a whole different way of looking at the world

1 person found this helpful

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  • Fiona Thurn
  • 08-11-15

Flaky but inspiring

I loved the performances in this book. Few audio books get everything and everyone right, this is one of them. Yes it's a bit on the flaky side, but music is a very abstract and subjective thing, getting a bit flaky helps Wooten get the feelings across. It made me wish I played music for a living. If you don't know anything about music, this might just confuse you. If you do it will still confuse you, but in a more meaningful way.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-02-20

Enlightening

I’ve never written a review for a book but this one is a must if you’re a musician or producer. It doesn’t matter what instrument you play, the principles and concepts explained in this book has opened up my playing and made me aware of elements in music that I’ve been neglecting.

Now that I know these concepts I’m able to listen out and hear them in other peoples playing. I’m also able to train them.

A lesson that stuck with me is - music isn’t something that you should separate yourself from. It shouldn’t just exist when you gig, practise or create. It should be present within you, your surroundings and in all parts of your life.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-29-20

For the love of music listen to these book

I do not have the words to discribe this book nor would I like to give away to much about it. This is Wooten's gospel to music herself.

I would rate this on the levels of the Zen Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and The War of Art.

Grab this book and teach yourself.

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  • Andrew Carroll
  • 12-02-18

Thank you Victor

Awesome, interesting and intriguing Audiobook. Loved it so much and made me think about music in a whole new way! Thank you Victor for making such an awesome book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Colleen Pope
  • 11-18-18

Thought-provoking

Very interesting ideas about the approach to making music presented in this audio book. Enjoyed the emphasis on listening to all sounds for influences.

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  • Julius
  • 09-17-17

Excellent synopsis of music philosophy!

Delve beneath the fantasy story to reveal an excellent and memorable music philosophy and psychology lesson.