Be the Teacher You Wish You Had

Uncategorized Jun 02, 2016


Being a teacher is not a matter of title or position. It’s a way of being and acting in the world. Anyone who shares knowledge, skills and expertise to benefit those around them is a teacher.

We may gain title or position and even payment as teachers, but those are byproducts of what we do, not reasons to do it. Our purpose is to uplift and elevate others and we understand that teaching and learning are two sides of the same coin. We learn while we teach.

Of course, some do teach merely for the title, position and payment. For them, the knowledge, skill or expertise they’ve acquired is not a gift to be shared, but a weapon to wield or a resource to be exploited. They don’t seek to pull others up, but to keep them down.

Be the teacher you wish you wish you had.

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Embracing Failure

Uncategorized May 25, 2016

Maybe you've seen the Will Smith video, Fail Early, Fail Often, Fail Forward?

As an advancing musician (or any other artistic or creative practitioner), you must always reach just beyond your abilities and experience. Seeking the edges and pushing the envelope is equally exciting and terrifying and it is the only way to improve.

Making mistakes must be not only an accepted part of the process, but welcomed. Mistakes are opportunities. Chances to identify and improve. And failures and mistakes lead to further discoveries.

Don't shy away from challenges, embrace them. Recognize your failures, identify the source, improve your skills and keep pushing. The path to progress is not easy, but it;s worth it!

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Those who can, do. Those who think others can too, teach.

inspiration May 22, 2016

I found this phrase on the tag of a teabag while enjoying a cup that Lisa prepared for me. It has become the foundation of my teaching philosophy and practice, not to mention my response to those who believe that those who can, do while those who can’t, teach (usually credited to George Bernard Shaw).

Unfortunately, there are teachers who validate the later claim. I know, I’ve inherited many of their causalities. Students who experienced incompetent instructors or, more frightening, badgering, bullying and worse by teachers describing themselves as “demanding.” I myself have been on the receiving end of both ends of the bad teacher spectrum. Fortunately, I’ve also had some really great teachers who were knowledgeable, competent, patient and encouraging. They are my role models.

Teachers leave a lasting legacy in the students they teach and communities they serve. Good teachers honor and respect not only their craft but...

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