This paradoxical concept is one of the masked secrets of successful people. We know failure is part of the pathway to high-level achievement. Growth, in any aspect of life requires risk-taking; one must enter the realm of the unknown and be willing to be disappointed while refusing to turn back until there is a sense of satisfaction that only comes from attaining new understanding and a greater awareness of the possibilities at hand. To be in a state of creativity we must relinquish control and overcome fear…in essence we must persevere in our ongoing climb to a new summit of quality regardless of the number of times we stumble and fall. Only those who are willing to risk going too far will ever find out how far they can go. PERSISTENCE is our most important companion in this quest.
7. THINK CREATIVELY
We live in a fast-pace society, our students are programmed to move quickly, therefore we must open our minds to new ways of thinking and being. If we do not we are doomed to: remain-the-same; status quo, predictable, boring, simply going through the motions, STALE. Rich rewards go to those who stand back and see the bigger picture, those who seek new opportunities, and those who look for ways to create artistic and emotional beauty within the learning environment. Put meaning into everything by interpreting the present so it serves as a guide the future, it will determine whether you flourish of flounder. Creative thinking can be the turning point in bringing NEW LIFE to your entire program.
8. MAINTAIN A HEALTHY SENSE OF HUMOR
Unfortunately many have linked “sense of humor” with lack-of-substance. In the communication world, humor is the shortest distance between two people. Let’s not confuse humor with flippancy, silliness or mere entertainment; humor is the way the human psyche creates emotional release. One of the traits of superior teaching is the ability to efficiently and effectively connect with students, and there are certainly times when a hearty laugh or an amusing interpretation will serve as the best teaching tool. And, above all, be able to laugh at yourself. Teachers are humans and humans make mistakes, so we must be willing to stub-our-toes and join in the laughter, then we can all take a deep breath and get back to work. Humor is a lubricant of the mind and soul; keep smiling, everything will run much smoother.
9. ASSUME THE POSTURE OF A LEADER OF THE ARTS
Stand tall for ARTS in your school. In our urgency to “prepare the music, give the lessons, direct the sectional, file the music, develop the budget, etc., etc., etc.,” we fail to share the good new concerning the value of music to those who are part of our educational community. To garner the support of our administrators, our fellow teachers, the booster/parents, and, YES, the students who are in our classes we must be bring this compelling data to the forefront. People need-to-know WHY the FINE ARTS play such a crucial role in educational blueprint, and we (as music educators) want to be the messengers of this extraordinary message. Carry the flag for ARTS. We are not integrating art into education, we're educating through art.
10. ENJOY TEACHING MUSIC
Certainly everything on the daily to-do list is not always pleasurable or fun; much of it can be mundane, utilitarian, and even mindless, however it seems like a small price to pay to have the opportunity to introduce a student to the priceless treasury of MUSIC. They cannot duplicate this KNOWING in any other facet of our educational community. There is no substitute for music; music itself is the reason to master the skills of music making. What greater gift could we possibly bring to a young impressionable mind? YOU ARE A TEACHER WHO MAKES A DIFFERENCE.
This is the time of year when patterns are being established and the standards are being set; these will dictate what lies ahead as you join hands with your students in an ongoing musical adventure. In the words of Albert Schweitzer,
"I don't know what your destiny will be but one thing I know. The only ones among you who will be truly happy are those who have sought and found how to serve."
…let the music begin…