I'm not exaggerating when I say that it was quite by accident that I found this way of wording, "Mistakes are welcome." For a long time, I thought that if I actively encouraged students to be okay with making mistakes in front of me that I was an ineffective teacher. I find that there is this pervasive thought in most of my students that if someone fears making a mistake that they are less likely to make it.
I actually find the opposite to be true. The more you fear a mistake… the more it's a self-fulfilling prophecy. You keep imagining you will make the mistake. You keep thinking about making mistakes. So what does your brain do? It does what it keeps thinking about. It makes mistakes.
Ironically, I have found that when you make mistakes something that is not to be feared, the brain then just sees it as an option, not a forbidden thing. When it's an option, your brain then has the ability to choose what it wants to do. Choice is a powerful thing. It's kind of what makes the brain a very cool thing. We can choose what we want to do, we can forge our own path in life. Mistakes are a part of making choices, and it's great to make mistakes if we also learn from them.
So stop beating yourself up. Mistakes are welcome. :)
It's a very strange thing to be the person on one end of the lesson watching the other person work at something, accomplish it, and then… say they can't do it. I've actually seen this happen before my wedding hiatus, but I noticed it far more after I'd been away for a while. It has BOGGLED my mind for a long time, and I finally made a breakthrough last week!
Turns out, my students are such go-getters that they focus too much on what they can't do, versus what they just did. The weirdest part is that they all have very positive goals for their practicing, but when they are actually in the act of practicing, all these negative thoughts are getting in the way. It's very strange to be so consciously in control of your thoughts to steer them in a more positive direction, but let me tell you… the difference in their playing was immediate and huge!
So guys… yes, work hard, but don't beat yourself up. Beating yourself doesn't do anything to build yourself up to be the best that you can be--it takes you further away from that. Build yourself up with positive reinforcement. You've got this. :)
I actually made these discoveries soon after I made the other posture video and immediately regretted posting that one! But after some thought, I think it's a cool way to watch me grow. :) It's a good thing that I'm still learning, and this channel is about being transparent as a classical musician. I have nothing to hide and everything to share!
I am constantly fighting the urge to hide my mistakes and misconceptions, so really… you guys are actually watching me face it with these videos. I think it has something to do with pride, something to do with shame, and maybe something to do with fear. I'm still working through my thought process about that. One day I might make a video about it. :)
For now, watch me grow. :) I hope you'll grow with me!
What a journey. I resisted the notion that I wasn't a gold player for a long time. I'm not entirely sure why, but I think there was some pride in there. Recently, I've discovered that... well, what's there to be prideful about? Don't I constantly preach that it's not about how precious the metal is that your flute is made of that makes you a great flute player? So why do I care so much?
Regardless, it still took me a while to let gold go. I oddly feel more authentic now that I've fully embraced copper. I'm still asking a lot of questions about how and why I play the way I play.
I hope that this video might help someone else out there who's having trouble finding the flute or metal that works for them. It can take a while, and it's totally okay. :)
This is probably the thing I've made the most mistakes with over the years that I've been teaching the flute. You sort of get into the weird headspace where you think that because you've learned all the stuff you're teaching that you know what your students are thinking and feeling. It was a huge wake up call when I finally figured out that, no, I don't actually know what my students are thinking and feeling unless I sit down and hear them out.
One thing I didn't touch on in this video was that the discussions to figure out what their goals and dreams are often feel like you're wasting time in the lesson. But let me assure you: you're not wasting time. In fact, you're saving time. I have wasted hours and hours of lessons trying to push students to do one thing when they didn't want to do it at all or it wasn't even beneficial to them! We could have made leaps and bounds far earlier if I had just put my pride away as a teacher and truly listened to them first. I urge you, teachers, to listen to your students and not make the same mistakes as me!
I'm really loving my lessons with my students now, and I hope this video is insightful and helpful to both students and teachers. :)