Developing Determination - Choose Music

    29 September

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    The new term has begun with the timeless question “Sir, why do we need to learn ____, We’ll never use it. The blank in my case as a chemistry teacher was ‘the operation of a blast furnace.’  Every teacher will have their own ‘blank’ to insert. Recently, I have realised not to answer the question with direct logic, or make comparisons with other parts of the syllabus.

    The answer to the question is simple: “To make you think” and “to make you try.” We want our students to try difficult things, to be confident and to persevere.  Perseverance and determination are traits that once learned have infinite use and will stand our students in good stead throughout their lives.

    What I frequently suggest to parents is ‘have your son take up a musical instrument’, there is nothing like this for having a go, developing determination and teaching perseverance.  The rewards that come from learning an instrument are tangible evidence that if at first you don’t succeed try, try again. A lesson that we all must learn.