This morning I came across a funny video from Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show. It was of Chad Smith from The Red Hot Chili Peppers and Will Ferrell having a “Drum Off”. Of course it was funny, as Will Ferrell always is, but more importantly is was showcasing music as something special. Clearly Ferrell couldn’t compete….music is not something that one just “picks up”. The skit didn’t get into practicing or the hard work that goes into learning to play, but that is where we come in. We are the ones that get to show kids the work behind it. Their “heroes” didn’t just wake up one day and land a job as the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer, even Mr. Smith had to work hard to get to where he is today.

I don’t think the education community emphasizes this enough with our students. We live in an “instant gratification” world and the idea of working for something long term seems superfluous. Why bother when one can get what he/ she wants from an app immediately? …and there is always the fall back plan ~ act like a complete crazy person and get your own reality series for a handsome sum. Really America???

Pipe dreams aside, this is a hurdle that we struggle with on a day to day basis. How do we convey to our students the importance of choice and hard work? Part of it is reminding kids how hard their favorite movie and rock stars work; such as Will Smith ( The other part is that we can show them. We have the unique position to give a child an instrument and have them experience, from beginning to end, the process of learning a composition. Kids love showing you what they have learned. What a great opportunity to illustrate this point! We are always showing them process, as teachers do, but in the music room, we create something very special and fun.

Jimmy Fallon incorporates a lot of music on his show. Music teachers are smiling everywhere knowing that we make a difference!