Tuesday, 12 February 2013

Innovation starts in the classroom

On Sunday night I PVR’d the GRAMMYs hoping to skip thru all the meaningless commercials to get to the best part of the show - the performances. Aside from the killer Bob Marley tribute (big shout out to Sting and Bruno Mars), the defining moment of the evening was the announcement of an award to honor music teachers – the GRAMMY’s Music Educator Award

Presenter Ryan Seacrest expressed that, “For every GRAMMY winner on this stage tonight, there are thousands of great music educators working behind the scenes to provide the inspiration, the passion, and the skills our young musicians need.” I agree – innovation and creativity begin in the classroom thru collaboration and empowering our students to think big.

For me, that teacher was Terry English – a bold no nonsense  educator who had a love of music. I was about to go on stagein front of my classmates to do my “thing” when she stopped me and said, “If Willie Nelson can do it, so can you!”  While Willie might not be your cup of tea, he has a loyal following and continues to be successful - which is more than you can say for Billy Bob Thornton who opened for Willie in 2009 and barely made it through his set based on his interview on Q with Jian Ghomeshi (Watch Billy blow it) Lessoned learned, be polite and gracious you never know when it might come back to bite you. Secondly, not everyone will like your idea the first time out –  failure can be followed by thought provoking breakthroughs for those that are patient enough to innovate and learn by their mistakes  – see Thomas Edison, Winston Churchill and Abraham Lincoln. To learn about Willie Wonka's take on innovation see my previous blog post