Last night I had the pleasure of attending my daughter’s first band concert. The annual holiday event featuring the fifth, then sixth grade bands. My daughter, and her classmates have generally all been playing their instruments for about four months. The first practice as a complete band happened yesterday morning before school. They typically break into smaller groups with two or three different instruments together, but yesterday was the full band. Their band leader, an experienced music teacher, scheduled the concert at a reasonable fifteen minutes of sounds for each grade’s band.
My daughter plays the flute, she attends band practice twice a week before school and individual flute lessons once per week. When we discuss her flute/band/lessons, she will reply by saying she really likes the flute and the lessons but band – not so much. Apparently she doesn’t enjoy the saxophones behind her squealing in her ear, getting up early twice a week or future visions of marching band uniforms (she wants to be in the orchestra). But she clearly benefits from both the band experience and the individual lessons. With the one-on-one lessons she learns more method and reading music and progresses faster, in band she learns about cooperation, other musical instruments and patience. It is easy for me to see, not as easy for her. For me, I am investing in her and want to help her be the best she can. For her, it is difficult to see benefits from things you may not enjoy. But she is a willing participant (so far) in both practices, and being willing goes a long way toward reaping any benefits.
This video clip will either bring back memories for you or may show you what you have to look forward to…
Yesterday, my boss approached me with an eight session leadership seminar and asked if I may be interested. This after our HR Manager forwarded me information on a November class about being a better supervisor. I know, I know – “Take A Hint Kirk!”. So you will be happy to know I have willingly accepted the latest learning opportunity.
But listen, I don’t particularly enjoy seminars and some of the exercises we will go through. I would rather spend time at work, within my department and develop my skills in that environment. I don’t necessarily want to be with a “coach” (seminar leaders) and participate in group workshops or raise my self-awareness. In other words, just because I can see it is a great idea my daughter learns from multiple sources (private lessons and band practice), does not mean I think it is such a great idea for me (normal work environment and improvement seminars).
For me, self-reliance comes natural, my ability to offer help greatly exceeds my ability to ask for it or take advantage of it. It may be that way for many of us, but one thing I have learned so far is the importance of continuing to learn and grow. And I must also realize the company is investing in me to help me and to help them. So, knowing this gives me the willingness necessary to realize the benefits of these classes and I will be open to learning and practicing what is taught. It’s amazing what you can learn from raising kids isn’t it?
And just for the record, when my daughter said she wanted to try to play the flute – this is what I pulled from the vinyl collection first (poor kid)…