#20 Frustration

As a teacher, frustrations are inevitable. How we respond to those frustrations are often the measure of who we are – as much as what we do. So when frustrations happen, and start to get the better of me, I try to think about the words of a Chinese proverb I found in a fortune cookie many years ago: “Every truly great accomplishment is at first impossible.” Yes, it can […]


#19 ...Dream Of Being More

I walked into class this morning and wrote these remarkable words on the board. I said nothing about it. I didn’t draw attention to it in any way. I didn’t discuss it. I just wrote it on the board. It was the best thing I taught all week, and I didn’t say a word. “To achieve all that is possible, we must attempt the impossible. To be as much as […]


#18 Ten Seconds

Compelling research states that when presenting to a group, we have ten seconds to “grab” their attention. If we don’t, we have probably lost them to wandering thoughts or feelings of boredom and restlessness. How do we grab them? With the power of our personality. With the power of music. With something memorable, something heartfelt, something out of the norm, something funny, something odd, something thought-provoking, something that taps into […]


#17 No Better Feeling

There is no better feeling than helping our student have a great rehearsal. And I am sure we can all agree that the more prepared we are, the better it will be. It reminds me of the wonderful sentiment of the legendary conductor Mitropoulos when he stated, “If I were a lion tamer, I would not enter a cage of lions reading a book entitled How to Tame Lions. In […]


#16 Write It and Say It

Recent research tells us that we remember 10% of what we hear. We remember 20% of what we read. But, that if we read it and hear it, we don’t just remember the aggregate 30%, we remember 50% of it! How can we use this in our teaching? The next time we have a list of announcements, a set of directions, a poem that is the basis of a piece […]


#15 They Will

The wonderful old saying prescribes, “Act as if the quality you seek is already within you and it will be.”