I’m sure we have all heard the wonderful quote of Abraham Maslow: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” How much more creative could our teaching be, how much more variety could we bring to our rehearsals, how much more nuanced could our conducting be, how much more productive and artistic could we be in every class if we sought to find and use different techniques and philosophies as often as we used those that are “tried and true.” If every task automatically looks like a nail to us, the only tool we will use is a hammer. Isn’t that a wonderful argument for us all to continually strive to learn new ways of doing things, seek new materials, try new “tools” and look at every challenge in various ways?

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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