The Seven Roles > Sage

Positive & Negative Traits of Sage

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Thanks for supporting live music.

Sonny is a jazz legend and a fairly approachable guy, too. And only 80 years young.


She's well into jazz school now. Aaaand, is definitely learning 'where she is', and knows how much she has to work still, and how much she will have to work once out of school (she told all this to me yesterday and I thought it showed tremendous maturity). She only has ideas of 'being famous' probably in the similar ways that I have of 'being famous'... in that it's an idea that's sort of connected to cardinality and being aware of the masses, knowing that we have something that can 'affect' them.

It's a tendency that we feel we can "take on the world!" but usually that's just a 'big' projection of something innately smaller scale, that of impacting people, no matter how many.

She's now getting to know the honors students and upperclassmen, and will be living with some hopefully soon (which means, going to more gigs, having a more musical social life), and for now she seems really excited with just 'being involved' and with being a part of a musical community.

Though... she is a favorite of Rodger Fox (of Rodger Fox's nz big band) if that's anything. At least, he often tells people (other professional musicians etc.) how tremendously well he thinks she's doing and how much she's improved after such a short time, how well she could do if she kept at it. So, things are looking quite well for her in that regard.

My sister's not really some jazz singing bimbo who thinks she's beyond everyone. lol. She does take it seriously and is very good, works hard, really respects other musicians and has a good modicum of all important humility. But, we all need some reality checks now and again, to get us back on track. Lovely Realist attitude. Can be quite handy. :) She just got carried away and over bubbly with all the attention and praise she was receiving. Was interesting, as I could relate to that feeling, of being happy and excited when there's a 'buzz' about you in an institution... except with her being a sage she just had to tell SOMEONE about it... "I feel stupid for saying this but I feel amazing lately!". Was a very interesting innocence attached to it. She only needed tugging over a leeettle bit... ;)

She does listen to instrumentalists. She played trumpet pretty well in high school, but I'm not sure if she'll take it back up.

Hey Elisabeth,

I was basing my comments solely on what you said about your sister, so I hope you don't think I was discouraging her efforts. Her vivaciousness and talent should take her far.

A good example of a reality check for young jazz singers is Jane Monheit at age 22. Couple a rich, full-bodied voice with an impressive imagination for tonal color and improv and you get this:



As a sage, I am interested in your perspectives of the role.  I teach English in a college.  In fact, I have done this for 40 years.  Throughout my career, I have constantly struggled with the oration downside of my role. 

I find that if I cut back my verbage to the barest essentials, the students seldom get the information or appreciate it.  On the other hand, when I slip into oration, that is quickly a turn-off as well.

I have evolved to the realization that a full development of the material is necessary, spiced up with a large amount of humor, but that there is an exact point when I need to shut up and put the focus on the students and their opinions.  Often, this takes some form of group work for them to generate their ideas to the level that they feel comfortable in verbalizing them.

In class, another activity is to put the focus entirely on the author's work that is being studied.  Sometimes we will take turns reading short passages.  I model with pacing, emotional overtones, and precise emphasis on the key words (actually all the words).  Few of my students get very close to the heart of the material when they read a passage, but together we generally re-create the essence of the literature being studied.

My sage abilities, when handled with precision, help create exciting and interesting classes.  But when the oration kicks in, things go south in a hurry.

I hope this helps.

Being a tactless bore is not limited to Sages.....I'm 4th level old and my friends bore the crap out of me!  I'm happy to return the favor.


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