#47 The Earlier The Better!

When students sense they are playing poorly, they can become like mules: very hard to move forward, very willing to stay put. But, we all know that if we start them with music so “easy” they sound good, or can sound good in short order, they start to become more like The Little Engine That Could: thinking they can. It’s so easy for our students to “throw in the towel” […]


#46 …if you knew you could not fail?

I often think of a question posed by Robert H. Schuller: “What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?” How liberating it would be if we all would be willing to take those educational risks, deriving pleasure when they succeed, and learning valuable information when they don’t? Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America


#45 Nonverbal Signals

At your next rehearsal, try using a nonverbal signal to represent something you want students to do, or not to do. Then, for the first few times you use it, say what you want as you use the signal. After that, only use the signal. I am convinced that most of what I say in rehearsals can be replaced with nonverbal cues that save time, and often, everyone’s spirits. Peter […]


#44 Think Backwards

I think sometimes (for me, more often than not!) the best way to get students to where we want them to be is to envision them there.  And then use what is termed, The Backwards Completion Principle.  Picture the goal point, then plot backwards from there, step by step, to where they are now. Working from “finish” to “start” can sometimes be exhilarating and empowering. Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education […]


#43 Leadership

Here is a bit of food for thought:  President Dwight D. Eisenhower defined leadership as “the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”  Maybe that’s the essence of teaching in a nutshell? Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America


#42 What We Believe

As we start this new school year, it may serve us all well to remember that sometimes it is less about our students believing they can do what’s ahead, than it is their believing we believe they can! Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education KHS America