Lynne & I have returned from 5 wonderful days with our Andover Educator colleagues at the Andover Educator Biennial Conference at Iowa State University. The week included the “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” course, sessions on specifics for working with various instrumentalists and vocalists, TakeTina, along with presentations by Andover Educators and guests on a variety of topics from learning about how muscles move to the breathing muscles. What a great week! The collegiality of this group is so inspiring. The week reminded me of 3 important life lessons:
- Try Something New – Leaving your comfort zone to try something new is a great way to push your boundaries and truly recognize who you are and what you can do. My “new” is the flying trapeze – the skills I have learned and the challenges I have faced make me feel invincible, transforming the way I walked on stage to perform and present workshops.
- Celebrate Mistakes! – This recurring theme came up in many sessions. It was particularly refreshing to fall out of sync with the TakeTina group, laugh, and find my way back into the pulse and rhythms. Mistakes provide us an important opportunity to observe what we are doing and engage in the learning process.
- Learning is a lifelong journey! Learning doesn’t end when we a degree in conferred, like I once thought, we can continue to refine our skills for a lifetime. Lifelong learning keeps getting better and better 😉
- Seek Support – both teachers, and performers benefit from a support network. Support assists when you have questions, or when you or looking for another perspective. Utilizing your “team” to cheer you on as well as to help you celebrate success and mistakes feels great. My team is an essential component in the learning process. The conference’s lively interactions reminded me just how fun it is to connect with others. This is too easy to forget working alone. Seek out your team!
Go forth this week and celebrate your mistakes. Go ahead, laugh at yourself! Your mistakes are priceless opportunities to learn. With the support of your team you will become better than ever.