One of our core values at Music Junkie Studios life-long learning.
One way to illustrate this concept is to imagine ourselves as bodies of water. We want to be running streams- full of energy, active, clean, always refilling from upstream and providing to the creeks downstream.
What do we mean by that? If we’re constantly the same (think of a puddle or pond) and never changing or challenging ourselves… keeping our curriculum the same and functioning on a “one-size-fits-all” or “wash and repeat” system, we become stagnant.
Think about stagnant water for a moment. It does have its uses, but it gets dirty SO quickly. It attracts yuck. Things growww in therrre. Things stale and settle in still water. No thanks.
The first way we can be be running streams of water is by challenging ourselves, overcoming obstacles, and always renewing our minds and filling our minds so that we are constantly learning and growing. That’s how we refill from upstream.
I’m teaching things today that I learned 5 years ago. In 5 years, I really hope that I’m teaching what I’m learning today. That stream just keeps flowing. And it doesn’t have to be 5 years – maybe it’s 2 hours from now. Constant inflow means that there’s more outflow and we’re constantly being renewed, updated. We want to be educating in a way that our students and clients are drinking from a running stream, not stagnant water.
We’re not just educating ourselves, but we’re working on our mindset, and staying up to date with the newest, best ways we can be teaching musical concepts. We ask ourselves questions like, “Is what we’re doing working the way we want it to? Is there a better way to be doing it?” We want to be always depositing into ourselves and into our students in different ways so that the outflow has an amazing effect on our community.
If you’re from Texas or anywhere in the south, you know that stagnant water attracts mosquitoes and gets gross pretty quickly, meaning it isn’t just “not great”, but it’s dangerous! Disease grows, infection and nastiness grow in water that isn’t moving, isn’t thriving, and isn’t all the time being deposited into from a renewing source.
Consider pond water, or a birdbath… definitely not a healthy thing to be consuming. It’s a dangerous game to play in the world of education, too. We’ve learned throughout history that as our education isn’t updated accurately and with care, we are teaching generations the same old, tired stories that really aren’t true anymore and really don’t give full context. The same goes with music.
Music is ALWAYS evolving. Learning is always evolving. There are always new resources, new pedagogies that are better and more effective and more relevant to our students. The lessons we teach shouldn’t look like the lessons we took as children. Music in the past 30 years has evolved, and so should the way we teach it. We shouldn’t pretend as if nothing has changed or evolved and that there’s no better context since the beginning of time. It’s just not true.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of educators that teach this way – even with math, literature, science, etc- maybe you know some. At MJS, our job in this is to be lifelong learners who are self-motivated to constantly be opening ourselves up to that greater source – the source of water upstream from us that we can be learning from, siphoning more knowledge, skill, ability, talent, discipline from, and opening ourselves up to the reality that we always have more to learn.
As my favorite professor in college always said, “I’m never going to master music. Music is always going to be the master of me.”
To continue to grow and evolve is not only our responsibility but our joy – to continue to embrace this art and see where it goes and see what beautiful things people do with it, and to share that with our students.