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Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Voice of What's Possible

If you would like to listen to this article on the podcast, click here.

What would you do if a new student showed up at your studio door and you knew that this student was destined to be a Midori or Itzhak Perlman? What does this student need right now? What should you offer him or her? What can you offer?

Perhaps the deeper question might be, what will you offer this student? And the other face of that question would be, would the student be able to receive what her or she needed from you in order to become what the student is destined to become?

Dr. Suzuki frequently reminded us of this thought: that our children and our students are like seedlings. They are destined to become great, but we do not often "see" this greatness when we look at the child. When we look at the child, we can only see his or her potential - what's possible.

Do we rise to the occasion to provide what the student or child needs in order to achieve his or her destiny, or are we settling for a smaller goal because we teachers are afraid to be the voice of what's possible? Do we teachers make the demand to parents to do what is right and necessary to help a child reach the child's destiny only when we are assured that the parent will say "yes" and join us on the journey? Or do we teachers courageously speak as the voice of what's possible by being willing to hear "no"?

Do we teachers guard against settling for less and ask that parents do things that we are assured parents will say "yes" to? Do we teachers have a big enough goal for our students and parents that we are courageous enough to say it aloud? Do we have the courage to take on the mantel and voice of what's possible and take a chance that some parents will say "no," or do we settle and ask for small things that everyone will say "yes" to?

Let us teachers be passionate about what we do and stand by our agenda as teachers to take a parent off the path of small ideas and guide the parent onto the teacher's path. Let us teachers let go of our inhibitions of being judged in some negative way and make the offer to include the parent on the teacher's path of expectation.

What if today Midori or Perlman came to your studio as a child? Would this child still become Midori or Perlman under your care and teaching? Would you be the voice of what's possible?

I want to thank my dear friend, Elise Winters-Huete of Kaleidoscopes for Violin for our weekly discussions. This article and podcast episode stemmed from a lovely conversation with Elise, who shared this particular insight with me.

Until next time,

Happy Practicing!

----- Paula -----

© 2018 by Paula E. Bird

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