I was inspired by a series of questions from parents in my school to articulate the true goal of my teaching and the essence of the original mission for founding my school. “Cultivating lifelong learning and music appreciation in children” was a long tagline to express my feeling that with each student who walks through the doors of my school, no matter how long their tenure with me, my goal is that they leave as a coachable person.
What does it mean to be coachable?
I will explore the answers to this question throughout the course of the next year. I will ask my students to articulate what it means to learn, what it has meant to them so far. I will ask parents to ask this question of themselves. I will ask it of myself also. And I will attempt to share our stories with our concert audiences.
My instinct is that being coachable has something to do with being adaptable, and that once you are truly coachable, it applies not just to one discipline, but across all aspects of your approach to life. In order to be a coachable person, you must have resilience. You must seek out mentors and then eagerly ask them, “What did you hear? What do you see? How can you help me hear more, see more?” You must also stand tall in your own space and know you are there. You must listen, and then you must also be heard. You must be mutable, but remain intact at your core. I think that being coachable is a necessary step toward acquiring wisdom. When you are coachable, the doors to learning anything are unlocked. All you have to do is choose which one you’d like to open, and then walk through it.
I’m in the midst of planning some specific tools for myself, my students, and their parents to use in my school this year to explore what it means to be coachable. Stay tuned for more details on what these specific tools are…