Decades ago, while reading the newspaper I came across a poem by Martin Buxbaum, entitled “Success.” It astounded me with its simple, yet remarkably profound sentiment. It made me think. It made me reflect. It was so powerful that it has never left my mind. In fact, it has an honored place in a frame in my office. Though it was originally written as advice for parents, in many ways it seems just as – if not more – fitting for us as teachers. I paraphrase it here with hopes that it will resound with you as powerfully as it did with me, and that it will guide each of us as much as make us smile at the very thought of its message.

You can use most any measure
When you’re speaking of success.
You can measure it in fancy home,
Expensive car or dress
But the measure of your real success
Is the one you cannot spend.
It’s the way your students describe you
When they’re talking to a friend.

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.