Saturday, March 3, 2012

Creative Wisdom: How Believing Makes It So

I sing with my church choir. I love music. I love Patti, our choir director. None of us get paid and neither does she. There are a few adequate voices that can read music and hold a pitch - nobody spectacular. There are a lot of us that can only sing it if someone else is singing the right pitch in our ear.

Patti welcomes anyone who wants to sing in the choir, and I do mean anyone. We have some young children who come sing with us. Sometimes we have eight bases and no altos. I sing tenor most of the time (I'm really an alto) because we get desperate for tenors on a regular basis. There are probably only one or two people who would ever feel remotely comfortable singing a solo.

And yet, every time we sing in church - it's beautiful. I'm not just saying that. I mean it. I have a good ear, I have musical training (not in voice) and I know when something sounds less than good.

I think that we sound beautiful because Patti believes it's going to sound beautiful and we live up to her expectations. We work pretty hard on the songs but not anywhere close to how hard we'd work back in college where we'd get all stressed out. Patti never frowns and never has anything but encouraging words for us.

It's not because she's choosing easy music either. She often will pull out things that are WAAAY beyond our ability level and somehow we pull it off. Because she believes we will. She'll tell us how much the song means to her, we'll work on parts a bit or a lot, and she just smiles and says "I know the angels will fill in the part we aren't getting" and somehow, it always happens.

We all can learn so much from the "Patti Effect."
She believes it will be so - completely, unabashedly.
And it is.

I want to teach like Patti conducts... knowing that each of my students is capable and that they ARE creative, they CAN do it, they WILL find that spark that they are looking for. Believing so much in each one of them, without any hint of doubting, that they can't help but succeed.