The Breakthrough

One of the most rewarding moments in teaching is when you have a student that has been working on a chart, or a groove, or a technical aspect of their craft, and you see the moment when the proverbial lightbulb over their head turns on. This is what I call The Breakthrough.

Breakthroughs can involve big picture concepts or tiny details. Often, The Breakthrough arrives when you don’t expect it, when you aren’t trying too hard, when you are not trying to force things. In other words, The Breakthrough arrives at mysterious times, but the common theme here is that you can’t force yourself to advance to the next level. You work, you fail perhaps, you try again, and over time diligence and persistence do pay off. Get your instrument in your hands every day. Pick up the sticks every day. Over the long haul, there is no substitute for consistent practice.

Once a student has The Breakthrough, that student creates his or her own momentum. Success creates confidence, and confidence creates success. It’s a loop. Once you can get into that loop, your growth will follow.

And….most importantly, you will find that these concepts apply in music, in school, in business, and everywhere else. It is universal.