At the start of your next rehearsal, gather the ensemble’s attention and simply write this remarkable quote on the board: “Play the music, not the instrument.” Then simply start your rehearsal without saying anything about that amazing, anonymous sentiment. During the rehearsal, if what you hear makes you think they forget those words, maybe just stop and tap the board as you take a moment to stare at it. Sometimes silence can be the best reminder. Sometimes what we don’t say is more powerful than anything we can say. 

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft, Director of Education for KHS America, is the author of the critically acclaimed best-selling books Teaching Music with Passion, Teaching Music with Purpose, and Teaching Music with Promise. Dr. Boonshaft is currently on the faculty of Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, where he is Professor of Music. He was honored by the National Association for Music Education and Music For All as the first recipient of the “George M. Parks Award for Leadership in Music Education.”