motivation, Personal Success

To Suck or not to Suck – It Doesn’t Matter

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Photo by BaherKhairy

I volunteered tonight at my daughter’s symphony chair auditions. My task was to walk the children of the cello section from rehearsal to a small private room with a judge and back to rehearsal, one at a time. These kids’ ages ranged from 12 to 14 and there were eight of them.

They were nervous.

Six of them told me they didn’t practice enough. One of them told me he would fail.

I urged them to breathe deeply and think positively. But they weren’t having it!

Their pessimism surprised me. These kids attend rehearsal once a week, most coming from other cities 30 minutes away or more. They take private lessons.

It goes to show that two important factors necessary for confidence in performance: preparation and positivity.

Still, watching young kids work so hard to make beautiful music together warms the heart!

I love my friend’s reaction to her son when his audition was over.

He walked out of his audition, stretched his arms out and shouted, “I sucked!”

She said, “Well, let’s go out for ice cream then.”

And they did.

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Photo by Jared Sluyter

Personal Success

Know Thyself

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Robert “Bilbo” Walker

“I didn’t want to open in town, because in town, they got too many rules. Out here, we ain’t got no rules.”

Robert “Bilbo” Walker, Founder of Wonderlight City (a juke joint)*

 

If you build it, they will come. Just build it to your specifications.

 

 

*From Great Big Story

 

 

motivation, Personal Success, relationships

Garbage In, Garbage Out

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I take walking breaks between teaching classes. I used to grab my little iPod mini (which replaced my Sony Walkman). I got tired of listening to my music. So I plugged my headphones into my cell phone and listened to TedTalks and informational videos on YouTube. The change has been tremendous!

I’ve learned about meditation, motivation, education, nutrition and much more. Because I learn during my walks, I have more to offer my students, my children, my spouse and friends. Now, my walks provide mental as well as physical energy.

What are you listening to? What are you reading? You’re in control of the input. Now – more than ever – there is “information” and “noise.” Be mindful about what goes through those ears of yours and into your beautiful mind.

 

 

Personal Success, relationships

Teens and Talent

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“I’m procrastinating,” my daughter said. She was just hanging out with me. With all her chores done, the last item on her list of “to dos” was to practice her violin.

“I don’t get it. You are so good at violin. You seem to enjoy it. Why do you always put it off?”

“I love playing. I don’t like practicing. It’s hard and it’s boring.”

“Well, it’s the practicing that makes us like listening to the playing.”

“You’re so mean,” she says as she opens her case.

 

Personal Success

The Practice

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One of the 5 ways to increase your grit is practice, practice, practice. By this, Angela Lee Duckworth means to practice deliberately. For example, let’s say you’re a musician. It might be tempting to play that piece that you know so well, the one everyone compliments you on. But you’re not going to get better by doing that. You need to practice that four octave scale you haven’t nailed yet. You need to go slowly, hit each not just right and start over when you get it wrong. Boring! Tedious! But so critical.

This is grit.

It’s hard and it’s boring and you need to do it every single day. You need to be consistent.

That is how you get better.

By the way, you can substitute anything for practicing violin: football, soccer, dance, writing, drawing, painting. If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing extremely well.

 

 

 

 

 

Personal Success

Remedy for the Blues

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by Ryan Moreno

I made the mistake of reading some news today. BIG mistake. What a downer. How dispiriting! But tonight, my family attended my daughter’s high school dance performance. Over 20 different acts, ranging from beginning to highly advanced performed in quick succession. And instantly, my spirits lifted. Kids of all ages, of all body types, and of all skills danced their hearts out. The audience was comprised of friends and families who hooted and hollered their encouragement, calling kids by name.

Dance. Art. Music. Literature. These are activities that require self-discipline, practice and focus. When you observe or participate in the arts, you are party to a deep, spiritual practice of love and harmony.

If you’re feeling “blah” or down, I highly recommend that you attend a local live show – preferably put on by children – immediately. Your spirit will soar.