Brush and Floss Daily

Amy Turner

It's a few days before your dental appointment. You haven't really made a good flossing effort since your last visit, have you? Sure, you've been brushing, but the dental experts at your checkup are going to mention flossing and you know it. So you'll just floss now for a couple days in hopes that it will seem you have optimal hygiene habits. But likely, the discomfort of your appointment and the guidance of your tooth expert will be the same as it was six months ago. The professional can always tell if your habits have become standard practice. See where I'm going with this?

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When It's Not Fun Anymore - Conscientious and Conscious Learning

Amy Turner

For weeks your piano lesson book has been covered in "A+" and "Great Work!" and "You Did It!" stickers, marking your steady and - let's be honest - relatively easy progress. The practicing you've been doing at home has been fruitful, resulting in your teacher's approval and your personal sense of pride, as expected. Each week your brain accepts new information with comfort, filing the newness away in a mental rolodex filled with other musical themes, language, and technique. Your brain flips through, finds the appropriate information quickly, and voila! "A+!" "Keep It Up!" "You're Great!" 

What do you do when you don't get that sticker; when your teacher says, "Let's work on this one more week..."? Is this a criticism? Is she/he mad at you? Is this the day you give up?

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Music and Motivation

Amy Turner

Last week, a healthy crop of newbies entered my studio space. There was mild chaos as a wagging Black Lab greeted wiggling 4- and 5-year-olds and adults (not wiggling) alike. Each student settled after a few minutes of exploration to learn and to be guided toward musicianship. The road ahead for each student is undoubtedly long. It is. But I snicker to myself as I think about the unspoken competition some of my *ahem* more mature adult students have already exhibited, making their long road much more exciting for themselves and for me as a teacher.

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