I’m reading a fascinating book right now called “Walking the Gobi” by Helen Thayer. To sum it up, the author (age 63) and her husband, Bill, (age 74) set off to walk across the Gobi desert with nothing but two camels and the promise of 3 air-drops of supplies. It was a journey of 1,600 miles on foot, in temperatures that sometimes reached 126 degrees.
These people fascinate me. And inspire me. And make me crave a cold glass of lemonade.
And in my inspired mood (with my lemonade in hand) I got to thinking about the motivation behind the epic journeys she and her husband embark upon (this is not their first). And I mulled over whether or not I would have the gumption to take on an epic journey.
I’m from Canada… and I’m certainly not used to 126 degree heat, so walking across any sort of desert is not in my cards, but I started thinking about my own definition of an epic journey and how I could bring this grand sense of working towards accomplishment into my piano teaching.
Epic Piano Teaching
When you look up “epic journey” it talks about being heroic. And that’s a pretty weighted word. To be heroic don’t you have to save someone from a burning building? Or be the general in a vital battle? Or… slay a dragon?
Perhaps in story books, but the actual definition of heroic is “behaviour that is bold or dramatic” or being “very brave”. No mention of dragons = do-able.
So how can I bring this sense of heroism into my piano teaching? How can I embark on an epic piano teaching journey?
The Journey Begins With One Step
Helen Thayer and her husband started their 1,600 miles with a single step and 81 days later they reached their goal. And so I’m going to start my epic piano teaching journey with a single step too. A daily step towards the goals I’ve defined as being “bold or dramatic” and “very brave”.
What does it mean to be bold, dramatic or brave as a piano teacher?
To me it means being willing to let individual student needs direct my teaching rather than my own preconceived notions of what he or she may need. It means being open to change, to opportunity and to challenges. It means teaching things I never thought I’d ever teach. It means teaching in ways I never thought I’d teach. It means accepting those students that at first glance seem “difficult” but if given the chance have just as much potential. It means continuing my commitment to maintain a positive attitude towards piano teaching.
I can be epic. Because the decisions I make every day have long-lasting effects on the lives of children. And there is no better way to be heroic.
What do you do every day that you consider to be “epic?” What is bold, dramatic or brave about what you do as a piano teacher? Inspire us! We want to hear from you in the comment section below.