Music, Education, Learning Styles,
And the Journey of this Music School
And the Journey of this Music School
The gym was sweaty and humid. The girls were working hard on beam and the bars and vault. But my attention was really drawn to the young girls on the floor. They ranged from age 8 to 14 and they were doing flips and twists—tricks I usually see on TV.
However, none of them were landing on their feet.
And yet, the coaches were yelling: “Good one! Great job! YES!”
I stood mesmerized, forgetting my own daughter on the beam, in a lower level class. The girls were sweating, hearts pounding, hair mussed, chests heaving. Again and again, they got back in line, ran, vaulted into the air to attempt the trick again. Beautiful twists and turns—sometimes aided by an extra lift by their coach.
Bam. Bam. Bam. They all fell squarely on their behinds. Push up, stand up, try again. Coaches bellowing: “Yes! Like that! Do it again!”
I couldn’t tear my eyes away. The power of coaching—encouragement, coaxing, prodding, leading— it was impacting me on a deeper level than just gymnastics.
There was a time in my business when I felt 100% alone with my questions and searching. I didn’t know how to grow, I didn’t know how to manage the day-to-day operations of the Studio, and I didn’t know where to go for help.
I literally would Google search music studio after music studio around the country, trying desperately to “peer” in the windows of their company for a hint or clue on how to run this thing.
In July of 2011, my Google search led me to a business coach who specialized in helping Music Schools. It is absolutely no accident why we’ve grown from 50 students to over 200 in only 2 years. It is 100% due to coaching I’ve received by my mentor. “You can do this! Yes! Try again! That’s the way!” And sometimes, “No. Focus. Don’t get distracted.”
Last week, I was teaching a piano lesson to a classy lady that I’ve taught for over 10 years. Recently, she took about 18 months off. When she came back, she gave me a huge hug, but I could tell she was nervous about playing piano again. She opened a book that was way beneath her level and insisted we start small. I obliged, but then I found a harder song, closer to the place where she left off. She looked anxiously at me, and then proceeded to just try the right hand. I nodded. “Now, the left hand,” I said. She did.
“Now,” I said, “Put the hands together. You can do this.” She laughed nervously and said, “You think so? Oh, Jen, you always believe in me more than I believe in myself.”
And she did it! It wasn’t perfect, but she did it!
I beamed. She beamed. It was an awesome moment.
Here’s How You Can Have a Coach in Your Life
1. Lean on lifelong friends who know where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. Make sure they are positive influences, and not pulling you down with negativity. A true friend will “sing back to you the song that is in your heart.”
2. Sign up for lessons or a class. Push yourself to learn more, grow, and take on a challenge. Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean going back to college! There are many Community Ed classes and online classes available that won’t put a tax and strain on your family time.
3. Hire a professional business coach or life coach. By hiring someone who is an expert, you will see results that will blow your mind. Read tons of reviews and testimonials, so you know what you are getting yourself into. Start small, with a group coaching class to get your feet wet, then work up to one-on-one coaching.
Final Thoughts: What struck me the most while watching the advanced gymnastics team, was how often the girls fell. You see, it’s not about sticking every landing. It’s not about being perfect. It’s about getting out there and trying. It’s about sweat and tears and about trying over and over and over again.
My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but during a busy season of our lives, she took about 5 months off. She had been trying desperately to do a cartwheel on the beam without falling off. And you know what? When she came back, she wasn’t weaker—she was mentally stronger, a little older, and more determined. Within a few weeks of being back, she mastered that skill! When I see her do a cartwheel on the beam, I’m inspired. She may have needed a break, but she never quit. She kept trying. (That’s her, pictured above.)
As our studio continues to grow, we run into new problems and new challenges. But one thing is for sure, with the help of my business coach, we’ll never quit. We’re moving forward!
And that’s my encouragement to YOU: Keep going! Keep trying! You can do this!
Loving coaching my students—Jen Hickle, Director
Jen Hickle, Author,
Hi! I'm Jen Hickle. I started Rogers School of Music when I was newly married and finishing my music degree. I LOVE music, I love education and I also love writing! This blog is where you can get to know me a little better and I can share my love of education and music and personalities, as we tailor music lessons to each individual student!