To Become an Expert One Must First

Friday, March 1, 2019

My morning at school started with music. One of my students wanted me to listen to a song she’d composed on a music website. I let her play it because she’d actually wanted to show me the song a week ago or so. I’d told her I was busy grading and that I’d listen to it another day.

Since we had trouble getting my computer’s earphones to work, she gave me permission to play it on the speakers so that the class could hear.

Her song reminded me of a time when I played the violin. I loved how playing my part contributed to a whole. I stopped playing the violin 9 or 10 years ago. I often wonder what it would be like to be part of an orchestra again. I wonder if I could play the violin again and well. I fear that I would suck at it, since I never became a pro.

She said that a specific section of the song had taken her a while to create, and when I heard it I saw in her a dedicated and talented music composer.

I don’t know if music will play an important part in her life when she becomes an adult. Part of me hopes it does. I admire her for composing an original song. Even though it wasn’t a masterpiece, for me, it’s a reminder on how with practice and dedication one becomes an expert. 

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