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The Final Three R's | #1: REASON

Updated: Jul 4, 2021

Practice Challenge Update | Week 18 of 20

In three weeks, we will wrap up a tumultuous and historic 2020/2021 school year! While many future blogs will seek to capture the essence of the year, these next few weeks I am distilling my reflections down to three "R's": Reason, Resilience and Rewards.

After my daughter was born, I was looking for some help getting into shape. I was drawn to Noom, a fairly new weight loss app on the market. One of their advertising videos showed a close up shot of a small bowl containing a perfectly rounded scoop of vanilla ice cream. A container off screen pours a thick, melted chocolate over the top of the scoop that temptingly slides down the ice cream hill. Unhurriedly, the text appears. "We say...have the ice cream." Despite recognizing the exploitative use of sugar to future dieters, I still paid for a subscription. I was happy to discover that while their advertising is a bit misleading, Noom's nuts and bolts philosophy focuses completely on intrinsic motivation. The daily articles encourage exploring your relationship with food as well as food "myths" you have likely ascribed to for years. Above all, the program writers continually ask "Why? What is your motivation for being healthy?" How I answered that question was then reflected in every daily habit and choice.

I have talked and written about finding your "why" frequently as I believe it is the strongest way to begin-or continue-any endeavor. At the beginning of this year, I challenged my students to make this year their strongest year of growth. Working under challenging learning circumstances meant that students would need to discover an inner "why" to bring this to fruition. I can't wait to give you our final Practice Challenge reports and some stories of these students.

Outside of a pure passion for music, the why's and reasons I've dedicated my career to music education are plentiful. The Tedx Talk from educator, Anita Collins particularly resonated with me as she surmises about the long term and community implications of young people engaging in music education. Teaching as many students as I can how to "speak the language of music" certainly directs the daily choices I make as a teacher and a studio owner.

Defining your Big Reason is imperative for success in big AND small endeavors. Communicating those reasons to others and bringing them along will always make the journey a lot more enjoyable.

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