I recently saw an adorable poster that caught my eye. It showed a very large dog standing next to a very small dog. Both had obviously been standing in mud about six inches deep. The difference was that the large dog had mud coating her fur on the bottom six inches of her very long legs, where the small dog had mud on his fur up to his neck. The caption read, “How deep the mud is depends on who you ask.” The poster is not simply cute, it is profound. A person’s perspective is everything. For us as teachers, understanding our students’ experiences as they see them, appreciating their feelings as they know them, and realizing their worries and fears as they face them can be as insightful – if not more – than an assessment of what they can or cannot do. Simply remember the image of those two adorable dogs the next time you walk into your rehearsal room.

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. 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.” Dr. Boonshaft was selected for the Center for Scholarly Research and Academic Excellence at Hofstra University in Hempstead, NY, where he is Professor Emeritus of Music.