If there were an Olympic Worrying Team, I would be the star! Look up worrying in the dictionary, and you will find a picture of me! So, I am no one to give advice about it, but I question how much mental and emotional energy we waste worrying? How much of our worrying do we pass on to our students, so they worry too? Does it help? Is it the least bit productive? Probably not. Why do we worry? Because we care more than is logical. But I question the toll this takes on us and our students. Maybe the best lesson for all of us is to embody the words of Mickey Rivers: “I don’t get upset over things I can’t control, because if I can’t control them, there’s no use getting upset. And I don’t get upset over things I can control, because if I can control them, what’s the use in getting upset?” Surely, this is easier said than done, but it is nonetheless true. So we become masters of working around those things we can’t change, and figuring out paths to fix, change or teach those things we can change. And each of those moments gets us one step closer to our goal and gives us one less thing we need worry about. And best of all, that may be one of the best lessons our students can observe us doing!

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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