Skip to main content

"Adaptation is the Key to Survival"

I never quite outgrew watching cartoons.  It's not like I get up every Saturday at 7am to watch them like  I did back in the good ol' days.  But I rent series on Netflix on a pretty regular basis.  Good cartoons can have very provoking plot lines and interesting characters.  "Avatar: The Last Airbender" being an excellent example.

One of the lastest series I've been going through is "Star Wars: The Clone Wars."  At the beginning of every episode they have what one of my students calls "a Yodaism" (we bond over the episodes we've seen).  It's a little one or two sentence bit of wisdom/life advice that usually has something to do with the episode that will follow.

So one one of the episodes I recently watched it said: "Adaption is the key to survival."  It struck me as really relavant to a topic that has been coming up a lot lately in lessons.  I currently have this large batch of students that have "stuck it out."  Meaning I started them all when they were 3/4/5 years old when I had a ton of lesson openings in my studio.

It's been a few years so that same batch is now 7/8/9 years old which is a totally different kind of kid.  If you've ever taught/raised this age, you know that the eight year old knows everything.  They're independent in some areas but not all.  And while they know how to play the violin, they lack the maturity to do consistent, correct repetitions.

Which leads to parent meltdowns.  They know their kid is mucking up the piece and they're frustrated because all the cute little games and tricks that worked before when the student was four no longer seem to have the same impact.

Therefore, adaptation is the key to survival.

The bag of tricks no longer works so new tricks need to be added to the bag.  It's unreasonable to think that the things that motivate a child when they were four will be the same when they're eight.  The child has changed and so must you.

Practicing should never be a static concept.  It's very dynamic.  So while practicing should always take place, what goes on in the practice session must change if the child is going to both progress and remain interested in their instrument.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Private Teaching Business Model

Over my years of teaching I've come across a wide variety of interpretations about the private teaching business model.  I feel that this is a natural result of the type of society we live in.  Many services these days are either "subscriptions" or "appointments."  For example, a gym membership is a subscription.  You pay a monthly fee to use the facility at any time during their hours of operation.  A doctor's visit or a haircut is an "appointment."  You call ahead to set up a time, you show up and then pay after the services have concluded.

With most services falling into one of these two categories, most people try to rationalize music lessons as one or the other.  However, music lessons are neither subscriptions or appointments.  They are actually a combination of both if the business entity is going to be successful.

The reasons why this hybrid business model occurs are:

1)  The service itself is centered around personal attention (appointmen…

Music as a Language: Victor Wooten at TEDxGabriolaIsland

Victor Wooten is an innovator, composer, arranger, producer, vocalist, and multiinstrumentalist. He has been called the greatest bass player in the world. He is a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician, husband and father of four, and a five-time Grammy award winner.

Performance Anxiety Part 1

My husband and I both love disc golf.  It's something that we both started together as beginners together so it became "our" thing to do as a couple.  We eventually got to the point after playing for a few years that I wanted to attempt playing in a disc golf tournament.  He was a bit more hesitant than me but I insisted, arguing that it would be a fun way to really test our skills.

I've written a few posts before about how playing disc golf taught me the value of muscle memory.  But during our first few tournaments we both quickly discovered a whole new category of unexplored skills: performing under pressure.  To be blunt, we both stunk.

As a musician, I was no stranger to performing.  I've lost count of how many solo/orchestra/chamber performances I've done.  Before that first tournament I had assumed that performance anxiety wouldn't affect me because of said experience.  I was just going out there to have fun, right?

Well, I was.  But the thing I had…