Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Colic but Mostly Other Stuff

I mentioned in my last post that I would write about colic next (and I misspelled it). But as I indicated in my first post, I reserve the right to wander off the parental pathway from time to time. This is the first of those occasions.

As a musician and education researcher (both of which I do as avocation AND source of income), I am always interested in larger, inspirational messages that pop up from time to time. As part of my work, I am on the look-out for entertaining and provocative videos that might inspire Albertans to think differently about life, education and their communities. Today, I watched a video that I would thoroughly recommend to all of my friends and colleagues, particularly those who are musicians. And I want to thank my work colleague for sending me the link to it.

This is one of the wonderful set of 20-minute presentations from
TED conferences. If you've never been to this website, it NEEDS to be in your Favorites. Among the embarrassment of riches on this site is one presentation that should be watched by all people who have ever learned piano, taught piano, had kids in piano lessons, thought they were tone deaf, conducted musicians, been a musician with a conductor, thought about the larger significance of classical music, or never thought about classical music at all. It is a lecture/performance by Benjamin Zander, most notably the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic and accomplished inspirational speaker. For those of us currently preparing a concert program containing Benjamin Britten's A.M.D.G., it is interesting to know that as a student in England following WWII, Benjamin Zander took lessons with Benjamin Britten and became a student of theory of Britten’s amanuensis and assistant, Imogen Holst, daughter of composer Gustav Holst.

However the main point of Zander's TED presentation has less to do with piano playing or indeed music, than it does with living in possibility and being a positive influence. Towards the end of the talk, he remarks on the most important insight of his conducting career - that his job is to awaken possibility in other people. He also knows when he has done that - by looking at their eyes. As he says, "If their eyes are shining, you know you're doing it."

He exhorts us to consider who are we being in our lives. Zander's definition of success in life is how many shiny eyes are around him. He encourages us to see that as a possibility in our own lives. A warning for emotionally labile viewers: you may need Kleenex for this!!

So nothing about colic this time (although I promise to come back to the topic), but lots about karma.

1 comment:

  1. Perhaps you could put the link to the video in your post.