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November 14, 2012

If I were a crow...

by Brad Vogel, Editor "The Choral Range," Kansas' ACDA newsletter, taken from Brad's article under the title "The Editor’s Box" – Fall 2012

vogelWill Rogers once remarked that “good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment.” In a similar vein, everything I know about carpentry, plumbing, car repair and electrical connections is the result of a two-step method:  (1) do it once to figure out how it’s done; and (2) do it once more to do it right. 

Excepting, perhaps, the “Anointed Few,” these statements describe the learning process of becoming a choral music educator: you learn by doing, and situation you find yourself in becomes your best and most immediate teacher.

Although I’d just as soon have success served to me on a platter (and I’d prefer a side-order of cheesecake, please), I don’t mind the challenges that come my way because I know crowthat it’s the challenge that leads me to better knowledge and skill. Few things become stronger without being stressed—“Stressed for Success,” I like to say. And it’s no stretch to suggest that it is stress that leads all of us to study and scour the work of others to discover solutions for our own sources of stress.

Many years ago, I heard a speaker suggest that if he were a crow, he would find the highest church steeple in town, sit on it, and look around for all the scarecrows—for he knew that wherever the scarecrows were, there was the greatest bounty.

The same is true for us—whatever it is that scares us, that is the place of greatest growth. Run to the challenge, for success can’t be found nor enjoyed unless the possibility for failure doesn’t also exist.

Perhaps I’m a bit like Will Rogers:  I never met a challenge I didn’t like.