Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Amplify the JOY and enJOY the ride!

As each new school year begins, I find myself re-evaluating, goal-setting and anticipating a joyful year. I feel very blessed to have a career doing something I love! A perspective that keeps me going year after year and guides me in creating meaningful and joyful music lessons and materials is this: 
The prize is in the process! 
I adopted this mantra years ago, and it has helped me focus on my students' needs and allowed me to enjoy my work much more than I did early in my career.
As music teachers, we often feel pressured to have our students present, perform, and even compete. But the truly great musical learning moments take place while we're exploring, evaluating, creating, and refining a piece of music. While preparing to perform music helps us set goals, the actual performance is simply a 'snapshot' in time and hardly a true reflection of the wondrous process that has taken place and the learning that will last a lifetime. I have found that 'inform-ances' are usually more meaningful for my students and their audiences (who are mainly family members genuinely interested in what students are learning).  This has relieved a lot of pressure and brought much more satisfaction and joy to my work. 
When I recently came across this quote, it resonated deeply with me. So I created a poster for my office to remind myself to amplify the innate joy of learning and making music. (It's a bit wordy but SO powerful. Go ahead; re-read it.) I'm posting it here for my visitors to print and enjoy. (Just click on the picture to open and print it.)

Wishing you a JOYful school year!  

Smile and enJOY the ride!    

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