by Joseph Tejada
“Music is like a language; we don’t practice English by ourselves, we don’t practice swimming by standing outside the pool. We practice by doing,” explained Grammy-award winning bassist Victor Wooten during a recent visit to Five Towns College. Many students that showed up to Wooten’s seminar presented by Hartke Saturday in the Upbeat. Sitting in and listening to a music legend play songs and give advice was not only educational but also moving for a lot of Five Towns music students. Wooten even invited a student on stage to play with him and gave tips and pointers to aspiring musicians.
Wooten has won five Grammy awards, and when asked about the feeling he said, “Winning the Grammy is a prestigious honor because playing music is something that I would do whether I had won awards or not. Even if you didn’t listen to my music, I love music and the fact that people like my peers would honor me with an award like a Grammy really does lift your spirit and make you happy and proud.”
Students musicians were truly inspired by the presence of a music legend in their very own school, taking the experience as a life lesson and milestone. Obasi Jackson, junior at Five Towns attended the seminar and said, “I feel like even though he was there for bass players, he had a message for everyone. Living life is a part of your music and creation. What is your music about if you have no substance? Never give up on an idea because you can turn anything/nothing into something.”
At the end of the seminar, a raffle took place where students had a chance to win a book written by Victor Wooten and other prizes. Students took the opportunity to approach Wooten, shake hands, and praise him.
Wooten also asked Five Towns students questions and encouraged them to ask him questions back. Many attendees asked for advice on how to become musicians and Wooten responded, “Treat music like you would treat a language, and I would go as far to say to treat it like it’s your first language. Yes, you can sit and play by yourself just like you can sit and talk to yourself. That’s fine, but it’s much more interesting more fun and educational and more inspiring to talk with others, and it is the same with music. A lot of people say practice all day and play a little bit. I say no. Play all day and practice a little bit.”