Miamiflute's Blog

The overachiever and a slacker mentality

Posted on: January 18, 2011

By all accounts, today was a good day.

I was named on of the Top 100 Music Education people on Twitter.

I received the following e-mail from my editor of an article on Technology:

I’ve had some time to spend with your entry for the encyclopedia project this morning, and I wanted to write again to thank you for submitting such a clearly written and informative piece! I really enjoyed reading it, and I think you did an especially wonderful job with writing in a very accessible way for this particular audience. At this time, I do not have any requests for revisions or edits. [ok, shoot me for adding the emphasis, but if you have EVER worked with an editor you know that this NEVER-EVER-EVER happens]

My fully potty-trained 3 year old dressed herself for bed, and my 20-month old pee-peed in the potty for the first time! Given the total scheme of the world, I’m doing pretty well.

But I feel like a failure — all the time.

I start to wonder about my profession and the demand for perfection always. If you instrumental or choral ensemble are only operating at 90% the result is evident and your concert is a little rough on the ears. Has this demand for perfection in music so resulted in the attitude that your only two options are perfection or failure?

I just returned from the Florida Music Educators’ Association Clinic-Conference. The theme this year was “Music Education: The Industry of Creativity”. There was  a great keynote presentation and wonderful sessions on how music education empowers the creative process. Yet, THERE WAS NOT ONE EXAMPLE OF STUDENT CREATIVITY FEATURED. Instead, we were treated to a virtual onslaught of perfect vocal and instrumental ensembles showcasing students. Really?? How creative was that??

I look at this blog – not updated for a VERY long time now. I wonder if the reason I haven’t done it is because of the constant demand for perfection. Somehow, I feel that if my blog post is not some Pulitzer Prize winning manifesto then it must not be worth writing at all. And I worry [ok, I’m terrified] about how this will effect my children. I really need to learn from them that it will all be ok, and a C effort is not failure — it truly is satisfactory.

And that blog posts don’t have to be perfect, either.

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3 Responses to "The overachiever and a slacker mentality"

First of all… You are NOT a failure. Very far from it!! Sure, the demand for perfection in this profession is pretty high all the time, but it’s mostly being judged by assholes and worthless professionals who don’t have any drop of consideration nor affection. They’re all a bunch of *********. Creativity is such an easy topic to be spoken off, but really hard for some to teach. Yes, conference was fun, but now that you bring it up, the topic; “creativity” did not play that big of role on anything. It just fuels me even more to want to cause a commotion once its my turn to lead. CONGRATS on your encyclopedia inclusion!!!!! C is satisfactory, yes. But NEVER short yourself out. Always shoot for greatness, but never burn yourself out trying to achieve perfection. It will never happen, because perfection does NOT exist. Keep doing what you’ve always been doing and you WILL accomplish greatness! btw… props to Matilda and Lane for rocking it out this week!!

Love this post! Btw, I’ve moved to this philosophy of blog posting:

1. I write it.
2. I read it and correct it.
3. I quickly read it and correct it again.
4. I post it.
5. What ever imperfections exist, exist until either I stumble on them at a later point or somebody makes mention of them. If I treated every blog post like a published paper I would have about 35 near-perfect posts instead of 700 excellent ones… 🙂

Again, Kudos!

You are so cool! I do not believe I have read anything like that before.

So good to discover another person with genuine thoughts on this subject matter.
Really.. thank you for starting this up. This web site is one thing that is required on the web, someone with
a little originality!

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