What Classical Music Can Teach About Quality Instruction

I enjoy music. Most people do, of course.  Depending on our mood or purpose for listening, we enjoy different music styles at different times. When I run, I usually like up-beat fast paced music that will energize or inspire me. I look for songs with motivational lyrics or songs with a great beat. (Or songs from the Rocky movies.)  Other times, other music will suffice.  Sometimes a little Sinatra goes a long way as I complete some of my daily routines.

Over the past few years, I have found that listening to classical music also provides me with a certain peace and tranquility. I have found that the more I listen to classical music, the more I enjoy it.

For much of my life, I tried to enjoy classical music, but a few things got in the way.

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Just Start Writing

Recently I ran into one of my biggest fears. The week was drawing to a close and I did not have any thoughts or new material for a weekly passage that I write for teachers. (Those weekly passages helped give birth to this blog.)

I am a believer in a theory I termed, “Just Start Writing.”  I find that when I start to put words to the page, my creative juices start to flow, the blank page disappears, and a passage (at least in rough draft form) is completed.

What follows is a reflection that I originally wrote for teachers, but I believe the bigger message can be applied for all.

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Putting My Cards on the Table

I was recently at a holiday party that included an enjoyable grab bag/gift giving activity.  There were tea cups, candles, candies, some gift certificates…and the greatest wine rack ever.  Really.  (Sometimes you just have to grab the big ugly box.)

But, most of all, there were baseball cards.  Four packs of baseball cards from 1985 and 1986…

When I was a kid, baseball cards were an important part of my life.  I, of course, collected them, but it was more than that.  I read them.  I studied them.  I memorized them.  I played with them.  I invented games with them.  I also sorted them – time and again by player, by team, by season, by card number, and in many other ways and then back again.  (Might this be where I developed some tendencies to keep things in order?)

I had my baseball cards in boxes, wrapped with rubber bands, and later in plastic sheets.  I loved my baseball cards.

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