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January 27, 2013 / oboeamy

When you fall down, get back up, brush yourself off and go forward

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As teachers we know this will happen with our students. The musician who has a memory lapse during a recital, a dancer who trips while turning, and the actor who says his one line at the wrong time. And when this happens, it’s our job to persuade and encourage our students to get back up and try again. Another important life skill that comes with arts education – resilience.

I am reminded of this because even adults fall down and need to be motiviated and find the resilience to move forward. As an oboist, part of our practice regime is to make our reeds. There is a certain danger to working with razor blades and surgical knives. Our training, just like dancers, requires us to learn how to safely use these tools. But a twisted ankle or cut finger is inevitable as I found out two weeks ago when I was diligently making reeds. The knife slipped and went into my finger. Fortunately the cut was minor, but did require a painful tetanus shot. Now less than two weeks later, I’m brushing myself off and moving forward. I made two reeds and with the bandages off can play again. It’s a little scary but how can we encourage our students to become resilient if we aren’t willing to show the same effort? That is why I thrive on being with my friends and colleagues in the arts. Despite the work, effort, practice and tears, we know the rewards of the arts and are grateful for thisopportunity.

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  1. Sheryl / Jan 28 2013 1:09 am

    I’m surprised you’d need a tetatus shot when it was your own knife! I guess maybe in case there was something in the reed material. I always figured that by now there would be a reliable synthetic reed for oboe and bassoon!

  2. Anne Cushing-Reid / Mar 20 2013 1:55 pm

    The good news is you’re also covered against whooping cough since the tetanus shot contains the pertussis vaccine, too!

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