One of our core values at Music Junkie Studios life-long learning (ongoing personal and professional development).
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.
Develop Through Education
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.
Develop Through Mindset Work
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.
Develop To Evolve
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.
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.
I’ve been pondering the experience (or art) of showing up. It’s risky, right? Showing up means running the risk of messing up.. missing the mark.. or the oh-so-horrible failure. But the thing is, it’s only possible to fail if you’ve stepped up and tried something with the faith (not the guarantee) that you could do it.
Taking a risk and showing up to try new things is what led to all of the innovations in history, so it’s important that we take risks. The most successful people who ever existed were not always sure they would succeed but decided to show up anyway because their work was worth it even when scared or unsure! Showing up is worth the risk.
What does the phrase showing up mean?
Showing up means you commit to focus on doing the job and then actually take steps towards your goal.It’s so hard to allow ourselves to exist in this kind of space, isn’t it? It feels unnatural and uncomfortable. It’s easy to think, “Why in the world would I sign up to feel that vulnerable and incompetent??” Like Homer Simpson said, “If at first you don’t succeed, give up.” Sadly, sometimes we actually believe that! We’ll lock it up deep down inside of us and believe the lie that that we are not worthy of achieving something because we didn’t get it right the first time, so we fail to show up.
It’s for this reason that I’m challenging my students with their music every day. I’m pushing them to new greatness in themselves that they may have forgotten they’re capable of. And I know that I can’t expect my students to be the only people doing that, I have to expect that of myself and model showing up for them! It won’t happen overnight–in fact quite the opposite—but through consistency on both ends, we know that student achieve so much more than they ever thought possible. We’ve seen it time and time again.
I love to encourage my students by telling them that some of their work will be super breezy and familiar, we’ll learn little by a little so they’re always comfortable with the material. And sometimes it’s time for something new which challenges what they think possible in music! And wow- that last one can be frustrating, but a little secret I know is that we’ll take those steps only after I’ve gained their trust. I’ll be showing up to set the example!
Sometimes it feels like you know exactly what’s going on with your music, to the point it can feel boring or monotonous… and other times, the music feels gigantic and seemingly in another language entirely. Taking risks is a scary thing. But it’s also a necessary part of life. We learn and grow through our failures, as long as we have someone there to help us pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. That’s where the teacher comes in.
A good teacher will earn your trust before asking you to take big, scary risks. They know that failure is a possibility, but they also know that it’s how we learn. So next time you feel scared or vulnerable, remember that it’s okay to show up anyway. Failure is just a step on the way to success! Think about a time you were brave enough to take a risk, even though you were scared.
To let yourself be seen – by showing up – even though there’s no guarantee of triumph, is beautifully human and brave. It shows that you are alive, and curious, and willing to participate in all the joys that life has to offer, no matter how vulnerable you have to be to get it. And once we do venture out into the unknown, we often find that things aren’t as bad as we thought they would be. So next time you feel scared or vulnerable about something, remember that it’s okay to show up anyway. You might just surprise yourself with what you can achieve! The lie is thinking you’re not good enough to even show up and try.
Lucy Showing Up
Lucy had always been afraid of failing. Her entire life, she had worked hard to avoid any disappointments or setbacks. She was hesitant to try new things because she was worried that she might not be good at them. Every time she tried something new, she couldn’t help but think about what would happen if she failed. Would she be laughed at? made fun of? She didn’t want to risk it.
So when her piano teacher suggested that she learn a new song on a higher skill level, Lucy was hesitant. She wasn’t confident that she could succeed at a higher level. Her fears of failure held her back from reaching her full potential, because she didn’t allow herself to be seen fully showing up – to embrace her vulnerability and really try.
Lucy’s teacher quickly recognized that she was allowing her fear of failure to win. Instead of focusing on the possibility of failing, her teacher encouraged her to focus on her strengths and abilities and apply them not just one small section of the music. Focusing her energy on one small part at a time, her confidence gradually grew. She started to feel better about herself and her abilities. The small wins started adding up in to BIG wins! With each section she learned, she felt a sense of accomplishment. With a little effort, Lucy was able to overcome her fear and succeed.
Lucy’s teacher helped her see that failure is a normal part of learning. We all make mistakes and we all have to start somewhere. Lucy began to see failure as a way to learn and grow. And with that mindset, she became more excited about learning how to play the piano. She decided that showing up for her lessons was worth the risk of failure – and even more importantly, messing up is OK! When she did mess up, nobody made her feel stupid or small. She knew it was safe to be imperfect. It’s okay to need practice and to be a work in progress!
Student, you are always allowed to make mistakes, learn, and do it all over again. Showing up is worth, show out, The choice is yours. We hope that you feel encouraged to take risks in your own life after reading this post.
Think about a time when you were vulnerable, but decided to show up anyway. What happened? We would love to hear from you in the comments! And remember: You. Are. Enough.
The summer slump, or summer slide, is definitely a real occurrence. According to a New York Times article, the average American student loses about a month’s worth of learning each summer. The good news: This waste is preventable. According to the RAND report, good summer programs with individualized instruction, parental involvement and small classes can keep children from falling behind and reduce the achievement gap. While learning is ongoing through the summer at our studio, there’s no doubt the lesson schedule can be sporadic.
So, how can you as a parent help your child avoid this dreaded summer slump? Take a look at the following practice routine tips for some guidance on how to keep your child’s mind active and encourage ongoing musical learning over the summer break. The benefits extend past music learning and retention and even benefit keeping learned knowledge in science, math and reading!
In this project, students ages 8+ will learn how to:
Play an instrument in a band of their peers
Create and record a song
Edit audio and video like the pro’s
Collaborate to create a music video
We will be using computers not as a replacement for in person contact, but as a creative, educational tool we can use to learn FUN and valuable skills!
The MJS Summer Music Project IS FOR YOU IF:
You want your student(s) to maintain healthy, ongoing interaction with their peers through our current difficult social climate.
You are looking for a fun, creative, educational experience for your student this summer that isn’t your typical (boring) online learning experience.
You are looking to support a creative arts small business that’s determined to serve up the absolute best in Music Education – no matter what.
You want your kid to have fun while learning valuable music technology skills.
It’s NOT for you if:
Your student is under the age of 8 or unable to navigate basic computer operations with limited hands-on guidance. (Remote guidance will be provided, but students should be skilled readers, familiar with how to open a program, navigate between windows, operate volume, etc.)
Your student can’t commit to a set schedule of 1.5 hours daily for one entire week.
Your student is not a good team player. Our student collaborators will be working together all week to create a Music Project that depends on the reliability and positivity of its members.
We will start with a piece of music written by the students, then record it to our liking as a band! Our students will learn and participate in the exact same process the pro’s use to record and edit their audio. We will complete the concept of the piece by creating a matching video- a true chance to use our imagination for abstract ideas and a commitment to seeing a project through with other student collaborators.
MJS Summer Music Project begins MONDAY, JUNE 22 and runs from 10:30am-12pm each day. It’s possible we’ll add a PM session from 2pm-3:30pm, given the need with # of signups.
$197 per student
$295 per household *MJS Member & Early Bird discounts do not apply to this option*
1.5 hours of live online instruction each day (40 min audio collaboration time, 10 min social time, 40 min video collaboration time)
A single 1 on 1 half-hour lesson per student on their instrument
You’ll receive the complete, finalized, edited music video file to KEEP