I recently heard an interview with basketball legend Stephen Curry. He described his less-than-stellar start as a player, reminding listeners that he had thirteen turnovers in his first college game. When asked how he went from those humble beginnings to a superstar in his profession, considered by many to be one of the greatest of all time, with more half-court throws than can be imagined, he uttered two words. Two words that might describe how any person achieves greatness, how each of our students will achieve their own version of greatness in whatever they do. Two words that describe what we, as teachers, must help them feel so they can strive, grow, and achieve. He simply said he had to develop “irrational confidence” in himself. An irrational confidence that would allow him to push himself, and believe in himself, more than most of us would. Now I certainly don’t mean to imply we help our students find the kind of irrational confidence that would lead them to do something dangerous or foolish, but rather an underpinning belief in their abilities. Who knows what each of our students will be able to become having learned to have an irrational confidence in their abilities and talents?

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.