After watching the “Rob on the Road” segment that was done recently on KVIE Channel 6, I must admit that many thoughts have crossed my mind.
Some of the most fundamental and most important lessons that I feel we do accomplish here within the SYS family, and something I am personally very conscious about, go far beyond the musical lessons we teach, and delve into the life lessons that can and should be applied to all of our lives, both within the musical sphere, and also outside of the SYS realm. These lessons have great intrinsic value. Yes, music does cultivate higher brain function, but there is much more. We make every attempt to cultivate an excellence in what we do in the SYS family. We promote excellence-we cultivate excellence-we strive for excellence. This striving does in fact assist everyone who so chooses to reach a higher potential, and this is part of our mission here with the SYS.
Achieving lofty standards is not easy. It does require high level instruction from highly qualified instructors. It requires commitment, both from those who instruct, as well as those who are the recipients of the instruction. It takes discipline, attentiveness, focus and a healthy degree of self-criticism from the students. Achieving lofty goals also takes time. There are no short cuts and there is no instant gratification involved in the pursuit of excellence.
Recognizing quality is an important ingredient that we are very conscious of here in the SYS. There is a reason that we focus on the great works, works that have been tested over time—the works of the masters such as Beethoven, Brahms and Tchaikovsky. Over time, students begin to recognize and discern “what is quality?” This ability to discern what is great gets transferred into other areas of their lives, where there too, there is a lot of quality and a lot of junk. Learning the difference is huge for anyone.
Once young people (and the not so young as well) begin to discern what is truly important, what is quality, and begin to extrapolate those lessons into broader segments of their lives, something else interesting happens. And that something else is a great feeling, the feeling of self-worth and value. To have this feeling of self- worth and value is something very, very precious, and something to be nurtured and revered. People from every segment of life are looking for this feeling. Money cannot buy self -worth, and it does not come easily, but by the very fact that our students are following a dream, pursuing their paths of excellence, playing the music of Beethoven, one step at a time they will apply these lessons in such a way that their lives will be enriched, they will feel worthy and they will be able to contribute in a positive way to the world.
I am honored to be surrounded by so many young people, (and even though they may not know it yet,) who are on their quest to find self-worth and value, such that they will contribute to this world in a very positive way.