Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Giving an "A"

Benjamin Zander, conductor of Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, and music professor, always gives all his students "A's". However, to earn this grade of A, they have to write letters at the start of class, (dated at the end of the semester) that looks back and reflects how they have grown and evolved as artists and people - and how they will have rightfully earned the "A" by the end of class. Most of us would recognize at core that the main purpose of grades is to compare one student against another. Michelangelo believed that inside every block of stone or marble dwells a beautiful statue; one need only remove the excess material to reveal the work of art within. If we were to apply this visionary concept to education, it would be pointless to compare one child to another. Instead, all the energy would be focused on chipping-away the stone and getting-rid of whatever is in the way of each child's developing skills, mastery and most importantly, self-expression. NOW, imagine YOU approaching everyone you encounter with this "giving an A" practice. A fresh, new ATTITUDE as a way to approach people. Give them an A. Give yourself an A as well. It will allow you to stop comparing, measuring, and can then transport you to express yourself freely - and always support others to be all they dream of being. The A is not an expectation to live up to, but a possibility to live into. Start hoping that everyone you meet - is a beautiful statue. When you give an A, something beautiful and transformational happens to YOU. You can find yourself NOT speaking to people from a place of measurement, but from a place of respect. Respect for the beautiful work of art within everyone!

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