Motivating music students - the FUN way!
Wednesday, November 23, 2022
In music, as with many other forms of creative expression, we often talk about change. Musically speaking, we might speak of a change in tempos, dynamics, orchestrations, instrumentation, styles, and arrangements, etc. There are many ways to change both for the better and sadly, often for the worse. This is true in all mediums and forms of creativity and expression whether we are talking about stories, poems, fiction, non-fiction, movies, games, sporting events, recreational activities – you name it. Everything including math, science, architecture, language studies, history, music, and art – all experience change in one way or another.
This can be good and it can be bad. We can improve and progress or we can deteriorate and digress. Often there is no middle ground. Some might think of it as advancing or retreating. If we are not going forward, are we somehow going backwards either of our own free will or by being forced to do so? Likewise, are we changing for the better because we have decided to do so, or is it the result of a near death experience, loss of a loved one, or an almost fatal medical emergency? If we really stop to think about it, we are constantly changing and we should be. Life continually changes around us, helping us to hopefully change for the better. Anyone who has worked for a tech company can tell you that new devices and technology can and will be quickly outdated, obsolete, unnecessary, unusable, improved upon, and changed in an extremely short amount of time. Life is about changing and making changes.
Here is an excerpt from my book, “Perceptions, Parables, and Pointers”, that I think poses a good question we should ask ourselves about the good and the bad we have done and what life changes we need to make:
“At the end of each day ask yourself the following questions: ‘What have I learned today? How am I improving? What am I doing that I should not be doing? What am I not doing that I should be doing? Have I been of service to others today? Have I done my very best today to be better than I was yesterday? Am I shaping my day or is my day shaping me? Do I form habits or do habits form me? Do I learn from my mistakes and move on, or do my mistakes maim me and cripple my character? Am I taught by my trials or do my trials turn me to defeat? Have I done the very best I could, or could I possibly do any better?’ Evaluate what has or has not happened at the conclusion of every day and commit to do better with each new day that comes your way.”
We all can change for the better. Each year at this time, we celebrate a new year. It gives us time to reflect about what has transpired in the past year as we evaluate and re-evaluate how we improved and progressed or slacked a little and fell behind. Never think of any of your perceived failures as final failures. They are momentary. They are fleeting. In truth, failures can be our friends if we learn from them and strive to improve and be better. That is the goal. Failures can be our stepping stones to success and can teach us so much more than any amount of success ever could. We learn about ourselves, our strengths, our weaknesses, our possibilities, our capabilities, our inabilities, and ultimately our productivity and ingenuity that can help us be our best selves today.
Here is a poem from my poetry book, "Poetry that Motivates." It is titled “Befriend the Failure You Fear”:
Befriend the Failure You Fear by Jerald Simon
Do not fear failure.
Befriend the failure you fear.
Failure can become a dear friend if we let it,
but most fear failure, and eventually regret it.
Failure is not a folly fool,
to be avoided, and dreaded, and cursed –
it is a gift we have been given so that we might improve
the performance we’ve daily rehearsed.
Each step backwards is a friendly failure,
not a foe to be beaten and bruised.
For with each failure we learn something new,
though most feel discarded and used.
Do not let failure frighten you.
Face it with faith and might.
Encourage it, and learn from it,
and each failure will bring you new light.
With a new year upon us, I hope you will face your future with faith and might. Of course we must learn from the mistakes and perceived failures of this year, but we can learn and grow and improve and change. Commit to make 2017 your best year. I know it will be because you can do your best and continually strive to be better.
For a little extra motivation, you can click on the images below to watch videos – I refer to them as “Motivational Messages” – that I created featuring audio excerpts from my book: “Perceptions, Parables, and Pointers.” Please watch these and share these with anyone who needs a little more motivation as they make this next year the best year yet! I have more videos I have created on my YouTube channel and would love to have you watch those as well!
I hope you have a wonderful day today. Make it matter. Make it count. Live life deliberately, intentionally, and purposefully!
Smile all the while and BE HAPPY!
Have a Musical and Magical Day!
Thanks - Jerald
Music Mentor, Composer, Author
My name is Jerald Simon and I help teen and adult piano students learn to play piano the FUN way by teaching music theory, improvisation, and composition. I refer to these as Theory Therapy™, Innovative Improvisation™, and Creative Composition™. Within these three areas of musicianship, we focus on mastering Piano FUNdamentals (emphasis on the word FUN). My company is called Music Motivation® and we create COOL SONGS, Essential Piano Exercises, Piano FUNdamentals, video courses, weekly online group piano lessons, workshops, seminars, music books, albums, and so much more!
My goal is to help you learn how to play any style of music you want on the piano in any key – with or without music. I want students to learn and know how to read any piano music placed in front of them and play it as it is written. But I also teach you how to take any music and play it at least 100 different ways in any key and any genre or style you want from classical to new age, jazz, blues, rock, pop, ballads, country, etc.. I encourage students to take the music theory we learn in our weekly online group piano lessons and learn how to improvise, arrange, and compose music of their own. I help piano students discover their composer within.