Are our students not listening to us, or are we not saying anything they want to hear? Though that sentence is grammatically a mess, it does pose a good question. When my students “tune me out” is it that they don’t understand what I am saying, don’t think it applies to them, are feeling debilitated by my relentlessly stopping to fix things, are frustrated by their abilities, are frustrated by other student’s abilities, aren’t getting enough inspiration from me to carry forward, aren’t getting enough praise from me for their progress, or is it that I’m not pointing out the beauty of the steps along the journey, that I’m not being positive, that I am showing a negative attitude because I am frustrated, that I have spent too long “digging for treasure” when maybe I should be spending more time celebrating the people with whom I’m “digging?” Maybe my students would listen to me more if I were saying more things they wanted to hear? Hmmm…

Peter Loel Boonshaft, Director of Education
KHS America

About the Author

Dr. Boonshaft 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 and Director of Bands. He has also been named Director of Education for KHS America. 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.”

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