“Don’t Prepare The Path For The Child, Prepare The Child For The Path.” Yes, Our Children Are Growing Up In A Crazy Environment–And We Naturally Want To Protect Them Last month I wrote about how our society’s norms for our young are completely wack! The average US 8–year old spends 6 hours per day on entertainment media and US children rank #1 in the world–for sugar consumption–just to give two egregious examples. Sometimes I find myself wanting to react to these norms by saying “Stop! No more! Let’s bury the devices in deep hole in a vacant lot, never allow sugar in the house, and live in a cave!” But there is a problem with that approach. The problem is that our children need to eventually live and thrive on their own in this very same nutty, wacked out world. Putting our heads in the sand, or in a cave, will simply not prepare them for reality. Plus, caves can be quite unpleasant, especially if you don’t like to get bats in y
Sometimes It Pays To Stop Smelling The Roses How a simple two-minute exercise imagining future challenges dramatically increases guitar student success–and how it can dramatically improve outcomes in any endeavor. Resistance Is An Inevitable Part Of Any Worthwhile Endeavor I learned the concept of “Resistance” from reading The War Of Art by Steven Pressfield. He describes it as a universal force which sustains inertia and entropy and which opposes creative activity and growth though: rationalizing, fear and anxiety, distractions, inner criticism, etc. It turns out that research shows that people who expect to meet resistance and challenges in pursuing their goals are actually significantly more likely to reach their goals than people who expect their initial motivation to stay strong. I personally have found embracing the concept that there will always be inner and outer obstacles in the way of my best self to be really empowering–and this con
1.Pick a Part 2.Sign Up 3.Show Up Download your parts, play along to the tracks and join us for a run through before performing this world premier guitar piece written specifically for the beginning guitar players of NYC Guitar School! Guitar No. 1 Chart Guitar No. 1 Audio Guitar No. 2 Chart Guitar No. 2 Audio Guitar No. 3 Chart Guitar No. 3 Audio Guitar No. 4 Chart Guitar No. 4 Audio Full Score All Parts Audio Fill out my online form. Here’s how to interpret the notation And here’s a guy talking about how to play harmonics for 7 minutes.
The Reality Based Parent Saves The Planet Do you want to “save the planet”? Do your kids come home from school and tell you how important recycling is? I do! And…mine do! Like many other families, we strive to reduce our environmental impact (and to feel better about ourselves) by throwing stuff in the recycling bin. But as someone who strives to be a rational, fact-based parent, I’ve recently learned two new assumption-shaking perspectives: 1. Recycling isn’t helping as much as I thought. 2. One of our family’s biggest opportunities to impact the environment is wilting in the vegetable crisper. Recycling isn’t helping as much as I thought. Recycling is awesome–but the reality is that it isn’t working well right now. Lots of us are “aspirational recyclers”–that means that we throw stuff in the recycling that we think should be recyclable (like paper coffee cups with liners, greasy pizza boxes, and messy t
New Study Shows Practicing Music Improves Attention Span Do you ever feel overwhelmed and unfocused? I do. Between work, an ever expanding list of hobbies, and keeping engaged with our communities, most of us have trouble finding enough time in the day to get everything done. And then when we sit down to work, we find it difficult to focus, our attention spans worn thin by constant overstimulation in the real and digital world. But imagine my thrill when I found out that by practicing music for years, I’ve already been helping increase my focus! A new study claims that learning to play music may improve our abilities to focus and tune out distractions. We already knew that practicing music is linked to improved language skills and increased motivation, but researchers now find that “musicians are able to more quickly and accurately respond to and focus on what is important to perform a task, and more effectively filter out incongruent and irrelevant stimuli than n
“But, Dad, all the other kids…” (And Knowing The Extremes Sets You Free To Use Your Best Parenting Judgment) Does your kid ever tell you that you’re extreme or unfair? Mine do. Here’s a recent true example: Amazing Child: Dad, can I have a soda? Me: Yes, if you have the money. Amazing Child: But I don’t have the money. Me: (looking into space) Amazing Child: Dad! You’re a health nut! You’re so extreme! I used to think “Gosh, am I too extreme?” But I’ve changed my mind. In fact, I have come to the conclusion that it is actually our societal norms which are extreme. In this blog post I’m going to try to blow some of these ridiculous extremes into the open to give you (and me) support and perspective as a parent. Ridiculous Screen Time According to the Centers For Disease Control, children age 8-10 spend an average of 6 hours a day on screens using entertainment media–and for teenager aged 15-18, that amount has grown to 7 1/2 ho
Step By Step Growth Isn’t Just For Your Students…Set Incremental Goals To Grow Your Guitar Teaching Studio As a guitar teacher, do you ever feel like your studio is stuck? Maybe in the number of students you teach, or your earnings, or the amount of time it takes you to prepare lessons? Or do you even sometimes feel stuck in the quality of how much you enjoy teaching or the impact you feel you are having? At NYC Guitar School, our mission is “Coaching Personal Greatness One Lesson At A Time”, and one of our core values is “Relentless Improvement.” Improving isn’t just something we help our students do, though–we know that every member of our team desires to grow in their own life. One way we foster the improvement and greatness of our team members is to make sure that every team member, from teachers to program managers, is working to accomplish meaningful goals which move them in a positive direction at the school and in their life. These goals are a co
How To Proactively Fill Gaps In Your Guitar Teaching Schedule When Students Are Away Today’s Topic: On Time Cancellations Many New York City Guitar School teachers mention to me that they appreciate working in a school with a standard cancellation policy, where they get paid if a student doesn’t show up for a lesson or cancels with late notice. The flip side of enforcing late cancellations is allowing early cancellations, and they are a reality of life for a teacher, whether because a student is gone for a single day due to planned travel or a schedule conflict, or because they are taking a summer vacation. How can we mitigate their impact on student progress and teacher livelihoods and maximize lesson attendance? Success leaves clues! So, whenever we try to solve a problem, it is a good idea to look for somebody who has already solved it. That’s why we interviewed one of our most in-demand and busiest teachers, Michelangelo, to find out how he handles