Posts Tagged ‘Piano Teacher’

The obligations of knowing your stuff.

If you know your shit, you have an obligation to behave that way:

Do – don’t ask.

Say, “I don’t know.”

Wear the clothes you want.

Tread water with Fear until she drowns.

Walk softly – leave your big stick at home.

Ask people what they think – let them teach you.

Kick Consensus in the balls – he certainly deserves it.

Be kind to those who should know – teach, don’t preach.

Hug the bullies – they cannot hurt you, you know too much.

Work with talented new folks – piss and ginger is a winning combination.

In short, use your powers for good – you have an obligation to yourself, your family, and society.

Tools, training, time, and a great piano teacher

It was Monday night after dinner.  My thirteen year old son and I got in the car and started on the drive to hockey practice.  I drove and he texted.  I was in the middle a struggle to come up with a topic for this post.  My son finished a text, snapped his phone shut, and blurted out “Mozart wrote a note to his dad.  He told him that he thought silence was the most important part of music.”  I responded, “Really.”  “He was a rule breaker,” he said.  He paused then continued, “The music of the time was smooth with a regular pattern.  But he did things that weren’t pleasing to the ear like using 7th notes and Bs right next to B flats.  Do you know what else he did?”  “No,” I said.  “He put a fermata right in the middle of one of his pieces.  That’s a rest that’s as long as you want it to be.  When you use a fermata you can stop, go out and get a cup of coffee, and come back later and start playing and that’s okay.”  “Really,” I said.

I dropped him off at the rink and pulled into a parking spot so I could write in the car (don’t knock it until you try it).  I jotted down some scattered thoughts, and it hit me.  Jackie!  It was Jackie.  His piano teacher was behind all this.  That morning she taught him about Mozart.  I now had my topic.

Jackie is a great piano teacher – really great.  Sure, she’s got the pedigree, but more importantly she has the ability to reach my son.  She can help him grow his thinking, help him think differently, help him build new thinking for himself.  And this new thinking isn’t the kind that stops at his head, but makes it all the way into his chest.  He feels this new thinking in his chest.  We can learn a lot from Jackie.  I want to look at her system for teaching new thinking, which she does under the cover of teaching piano, and compare it to how we improve our engineering thinking under cover of developing new products.  Sounds like a stretch, I know, but I’ll take a shot at it.

The framework for Jackie’s system can be described by the three Ts – tools, training, and time.  Let’s start with tools. Read the rest of this entry »

Mike Shipulski Mike Shipulski
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