When I was 9 years old, I started to play the trumpet. Someone let me have a go and said I was good and I should try it and so I was sold. (If you know anything about DISC profiling, I am a very high I – enough said).
Over the next 10 years, I was lucky enough to have an inspirational teacher and live in a county where music was celebrated and enjoyed by hundreds of children and young adults. I travelled all around the world with the various bands I was in and forged friendships that still last today. It was only as an adult that it dawned on me that although of course, people got paid for doing what they did, but that was not what motivated them. Trips away, evening and weekend rehearsals, concerts and meetings to ensure that we had the best opportunities and experiences are not included in pay packets. Most people who like being with other people are happy with a smile, a thank you, recognition and the very act of giving. Teaching has that special extra kick that you get when you see that joy when someone gets something that they would not have got without your input.
When I decided to make coaching my primary focus for my life it meant leaving teaching, my career for the past 20 years. It was a massive decision although made easier with crazy bureaucracy and my sky high stress levels. But I would definitely miss the children. As we all know (and if you don’t, check out my blogs entitled Shake Up Your Senses or You Never Know), change can be like a domino effect. As soon as I mentioned that I was giving up teaching, a parent and music tutor friend seized an opportunity to turn his dream of starting a music school into a reality. Within a few weeks, we had established the school and six months later, we have nearly 100 children on the books.
My point is not that we actioned a dream and made it a reality, although that did happen, nor that I was a lucky child who received free music lessons from a dedicated music service, although that’s equally true. It’s that I get to see that amazing look on children’s faces day in day out as they pick up an instrument for the first time and make a sound, or they learn something new or we all play together and it sounds alright.
The best bit is that I am giving myself to something or someone and it makes them feel good.
It’s such a buzz.
So what about you? If you are feeling a bit pants, what can you do to brighten up someone else’s day – it will make you feel great. Now starting up a music school is a bit extreme, but children are a good start – nieces, nephews, friend’s kids. Show them a new skill, make them laugh. Remember that bit in Monster’s Inc when Boo’s laugh blows the electricity? If there are no children around, then a colleague, a neighbour, a friend or a complete stranger. Do something small if you like, but do something.
Go on. Give it a try.