Activity 2: Gratitude

Created by Michael Boitz and Jason Shiuan,
Directors, Saratoga High School, Saratoga, California

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As a musician, you have a skill set, a way to communicate, that sets you apart from the norm. There’s a certain power and meaning to what you are able to do through this medium that has the potential to impact those around you much more than you might realize. This lack of understanding is no one’s fault, but rather naturally coincides as we work daily to obtain mastery and a level of excellence expected and commensurate with those around us…we’re so busy trying to always get better (which we should!), we sometimes forget to celebrate just how good we really are, and the impact it can have on others.

“All Unhappiness is caused by comparison”

The quote above applies to every human being. If you think of when you are unhappy, just think of what is causing your unhappiness, and it will be traced to the comparison you are making of yourself to someone or something. The reality is, the only person making that exact same comparison (whatever it might be), is YOU, and the only person hanging on to that comparison is YOU. In this project, you will STOP making any kind of musical comparison (no one else really cares about it, as harsh as that might sound), and use your power to express gratitude to someone else, which in turn will likely demonstrate to you just how much your musical ability means. You are going to (in using my new slang dictionary), FLEX your power on your instrument by performing any piece, song, excerpt from an orchestra or band piece, concerto, etc. for people you love.

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