Saturday, May 10, 2014

Why I do what I do.

I had a fried post online a question that totally rocked me the other day. A simple question that I haven't thought about in so long that it startled me.

Why do you do what you do? What makes you tick?

This got me thinking in a million different directions at once about

  •  my personal life
  •  my professional life
  •  my relationships with students  
Naturally because of the relationship with my friend and the things we do there are the cliched responses but, I decided to really think about what made me tick professionally. Here's what I came up with.

Being part of something bigger than yourself.
I want to teach students that being a part of something bigger than yourself is rewarding and requires sacrifice. That the feeling of being able to look to your left and the right and the people may not be the best but they are giving everything they have not only for themselves but for you and the group. 

Music has power.
   Real power. It can do anything from put a baby to sleep to create a national movement. It reaches the very part of us that is in constant touch with who we are in our most real selves. 

That music is one of the few things in this world that is fair.
     It is one of the few places where the work is essential and it doesn't matter if you are black, white, blue, rich, poor, fat, skinny, or whatever your can succeed at some level if you are willing to put in the work. 

The music theory of relativity. 
     One of the most appealing things to me about music is that in a performance or a class time is irrelevant. While you are playing, if you are doing it right, it is truly a vacation from the world. The only thing that matters is the present. There are no power bills, no high stakes testing, or anything but the investment in the  the performance, and your relationship with the other performers.

These are things that make me tick and my vehicles for doing what I feel is a real service to the world. Lots of things teach you to work hard. Lots of things can teach you responsibility, higher order thinking and all the other selling points people like to use. Music has intrinsic value and we should celebrate its value not make it fit into slogans and talking points.

When I am gone I hope for just a few things. That I was a good father, friend, that my students knew I loved them, and that for one shining moment I was able to be a part of their lives and teach them about the greatest thing I know - music.