I had the most amazing weekend!!! I was in Santa Cruz with Mary Knysh in one of her workshops: “Music, Rhythm, Movement Exploration and Play!” We explored singing, playing instruments and moving our bodies. Our goal was to produce sounds and movements without any or very little planning time. It was a bit scary…I am not going to lie. What if I play a rhythm that doesn’t fit? What if I am out of tune? What will happen? Will the others think I am not a good musician? These were all of the thoughts that were running through my mind until midway through the experience when I realized something huge: Trust yourself and the group and it will all be fine!

Trust. What a concept! In this day in age, teachers are such the punching bag with what’s wrong with education that it is easy for all of us to second guess our practices. This isn’t to say that everything always goes well and we don’t need to be thoughtful about our teaching, rather, because we work hard and think about how what we do affects the kids, we need to trust in ourselves that we are creating meaningful experiences for our students that will last a lifetime!

As this school year gets going, I am encouraging all of us to take a big deep breath and trust our instincts. Let’s obliterate our fears that we are not enough. When we do this, as I experienced this weekend, the music making will be more authentic. This, in turn, will help our students take greater ownership of their learning and send the message that they are indeed talented musicians!!