My friend Sarra recently sent me a link that included chapter from Anthony Pay’s book-in-progress on the use of metaphors in clarinet teaching. At least I think it’s still in progress – the text was from some time ago but I can’t find any evidence yet of its publication. Anyway, when it does come out, I’ll be happy to recommend it on the basis of this extract. He is clearly an experienced and thoughtful teacher – thoughtful both about the processes of playing his instrument, and about how people learn.
The overall thrust of his argument is that metaphors are useful aids to the learning process, and that different metaphors give access to different aspects of the task you are trying to learn. This is a subject on which I have been known reflect, too, of course.
One of the examples he gave was of the metaphors we use to describe emotional states: