Continuing from my previous article about failure, Failure: Part I ‘What is failure?’, I will now explore why we get ourselves into these undesirable situations.
I do not shield my students from failure. If we acknowledge our success in something, we also need to acknowledge the failures; if anything, the latter should be deemed more important. When things work, we accept our praise and move on; however, when we fail, it can take months, or even years to overcome the experience; the philosophy here, accept failure earlier in the process before it really matters.
When Sally first arrived at work, she found a way into the building by entering through the side-entrance. For years, Sally arrived, opened the side door and entered the building, going about her business. As with most buildings, there was the main entrance that the majority of people were accustomed to using, but Sally, never found it; she was always successful in getting to where she needed to be, and so she had never thought to seek out the main entrance.
One day, Sally arrived; on this particular day, she needed to be punctual for an important meeting about a possible promotion. Unfortunately, on this day, it was the weekend, and the janitor had decided to lock all side entrances to the building. When Sally arrived and tried to enter she was confronted with a locked door. She eventually found a way in, but as a result, she failed to arrive on time to the meeting, and consequently was passed over for the promotion.
Sally was never confronted with her method of entering the building not working, and so never actually found the main entrance into the building, until it was too late. This analogy is a metaphor for most of the learning carried out in music lessons and later applied in performance.
Often, a student is asked to carry out a task; they do so but miss out some of the instructions for whatever their reasons. Perhaps, they did not see the relevance in some, or all, the instructions set, or, perhaps they found a shortcut which arrived at a seemingly equal result. Nonetheless, the task was completed but, perhaps not carried out as intended, a devastating precursor to possible future failures.
So, why is it necessary?
Dylan completed his music training with honours at Colchester Institute, where he studied piano with Australian pianist Lesley Young, and composition with British composer Dr Mark Bellis. While studying, in 2009, Dylan won Colchester Institute’s Canon Jack Award for Solo Piano adjudicated by Andrew Ball. A composer, promoter, and advocate of contemporary classical music, Dylan joined the membership of Colchester New Music in 2014.
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