Failure is Always an Option
Monday, June 10, 2019 by Daniel Ales | Uncategorized
it's Summer, which means that Piano Camps have begun. What I find strange is, I have been teaching for more years than some of my students have been alive, and yet, every time I have a new group to teach, that first day gets me so nervous. I have been doing this long enough, you would think I would know exactly what to say, and how to say it so that the information comes across clearly and succinctly, but that is rarely the case. I get confused, and forgetful, and go off on tangents that eat up my time and never get to everything I wanted to teach that day which means the next day has to be altered. *sigh* But I love it. The kids have no clue of my blunders and the parents have no clue, (and if they do, they are very gracious not to bring it to my attention), and even with all those mess ups, somehow every child always has a good time, learns something new on the piano, and wants to come back again and again. Whats more, is I always learn something of my teaching style and how to improve on it. I fail very often as a teacher, and I look forwards to it.
I know. That last sentence probably sent read flags up in your mind. But hear me out. I truly practice and live what I teach my students. FAILURE IS ALWAYS AN OPTION. For example, today in piano camp, I had a student tell me that "He messed up". I said, (jokingly) "Oh no!!! That means the world is going to blow up!!!!" Where he proceeded to look at me like I was a moron, and I deserved it. But after laughs were had and everyone calmed down, I used the opportunity to once again remind my students that failure is okay. Not only is failure okay, but it is necessary to succeed in life. In order for us to succeed, we have to gain the knowledge of success. How can a child or adult know what it means to truly win, unless they have lost? It is like attempting to explain to a blind person the difference of night and day. Yes it is possible for them to get a general idea of the concept, but unless you experience both, you have no true understanding of either. I encourage my students to be okay with failure and give themselves permission to fail and often. When one fails, one sees where improvement is needed. Piano is a safe activity where students can fail without any life changing consequences and I tell my parents often, if you want your kid to play the piano, look on YouTube. If you want your child to play piano and build character, I can help you with that.