‘You are far more capable than you think’
[written for Music Teachers’ Association Ensemble Magazine Spring 2021]
These words have stayed with Bill Bailey since his time in the sixth-form. His music teacher gave him encouragement before giving a recital in his A level year and he remains inspired by her words when going out on stage solo to an audience of 5000, performing on Strictly or hosting a game show.
As inspirational and highly committed music teachers you’re constantly encouraging and motivating your students to develop and reach for that extra step on the progression route. You’re creating musical opportunities, opening up possibilities, introducing them to new ideas and concepts and instilling a love of learning despite the realities of reduced resources, remote working, intermittent classroom engagement and a pandemic. Doubtless you’re also spending time with your students hearing about their anxieties and concerns and supporting them with their mental health. The music department is often a haven for young musicians where they feel they are understood and nurtured.
Let’s turn this around.
YOU are far more capable than you think
If you take all the statements above, how can you apply them to yourself? You may be spending all your time giving out to others and attending to the needs of students and your departmental colleagues. What about you? Are you creating musical opportunities for yourself, opening up new possibilities for collaboration internally and externally, and remaining enthused about learning? Doubtless your role is challenging; are you able to ask for support and are there appropriate resources you can turn to when you’re at a low ebb?
It may be time for some reflection. Maybe your confidence has taken a bit of a dip with all the upheaval of the past year. Start small – a few little tweaks to your approach and routine can be energising. Remember:
Your students and colleagues aren’t the only ones who are far more capable than they think.
Inspirational webinar/July 2020/Bill Bailey and Tamsin Greig/National Children’s Orchestras of Great Britain