One of the foundational threads of advice throughout all the art courses I’ve taken is to add details “for interest.” I’ve noticed that small brush strokes here and there add a lot to the piece.
Everything I’ve done based on my “interests” has borne great fruits: teaching, relationships, art, spiritual growth, and writing. When I pursued activities or work based on anything other than an authentic engagement, it never worked out.
“Interest,” it turns out, is essential to true joy.
I’m a teacher and I’m usually loathe to listen to any non-teacher who criticizes education. However, Seth Godin is a teacher in his own right and what he has to say makes perfect sense.
Godin published an education manifesto and I think everyone should read it. It’s made a deep impression on me and I’ve made immediate changes to my teaching. Rote memory is ridiculous. Deducting points off for trivial things is dumb. Let’s teach students how to learn and then CREATE things and take ACTION!
My optometrist told me about his Corvette Stingray. He got it from a couple who purchased a brand new car and needed space in their garage. Everything in the Corvette was shot: the engine, upholstery, paint, some of the body was dented. They had it towed to his house.
Two years later, his Stingray is on the road. He fixed the engine himself. The upholstery still needs to be replaced, but the car has come back from the dead. The doc worked on it every weekend for two years.
Sometimes, our dreams might take years, because we “only have the weekends” to work on them. But with diligence and consistency, they WILL actualize.
In any case, we’ve estimated that with regular practice, rehearsals, competitions and school orchestra, the girls have at least 5,000 of deliberate practice under their belt.
In nearly nine years of playing, the girls have not once said they want to quit. I attribute that to the fact that they only play violin – they do not do any other extracurriculars. The upsides of “being good” at something are: self-confidence, self-discipline and optimism!