10 Quick Ways to Create the Growth Mindset you Need to Excel in Music

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What inspires a musician to practice

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In this episode, you will learn about 10 ways to create a Growth Mindset. 

Learn Flute Podcast 097

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What if your true learning potential was unknown and completely uncapped? This means the possibilities are endless for you, and today in this episode we’re going to discover ten quick ways to create the growth mindset you need to excel in music. We’re geeking out on some learning psychology today, friends, and it’s gonna be fun. So let’s get to it!

Well hello everyone, I’m happy to be here today discussing what it takes to move your learning into the next levels. I mean, ultimately we are in charge of ourselves, right? So, discovering things to keep us motivated and happy on a learning journey is super-duper important! 

The way we perceive how things ‘are’ is called “Mindset”. And our Mindset is everything. Especially when we are on a quest to do or become something we haven’t been before.

What we’re going to talk about today is something called a “Growth Mindset” which is the tendency to believe you can grow, learn, and evolve as a person.

The opposite of this would be a “Fixed Mindset” which is when we assume our intelligence, our character, or our abilities are stuck where like a static line that can’t be changed in a big enough way to notice a difference. 

The growth mindset on the otherhand thrives on challenges and doesn’t see failures as an issue. They’re just temporary until a certain hurdle has been jumped over. Or even used as a springboard for stretching our existing abilities.

It’s all about our attitude folks!

I’ve noticed something here at Learn Flute Online, those who come into the program as a timid new beginner either take what it laid out for them and continue moving through to success, or they stop in the first few weeks. The number one reason (those who stop) is that they believe they don’t have what it takes to be any good at this.

Whoaaaaaa, this is a crazy-pants thought because learning to play the flute and become a musician who can enjoy and play beautiful music is proven to be an ability everyone has in them. Think about it. How many musicians are even on this earth right now? I have no idea how you’d figure out how many practicing musicians there are out there, but I saw someone tried to figure it out a few years ago, and in the US alone there were somewhere around 28 million. That’s a decent number. 

So, if it’s possible for millions or even probably billions of other people throughout time, then it is most certainly possible for you.

It’s when we believe that what we have and what we are is etched in stone that we have a little problem. A fixed mindset is not the way to go, but I agree that it’s easy to get looking at the small evidence in front of us that points to the fact that we may not be getting where we want to go fast enough.. Which when dwelled on leads to discouragement and ultimately abandoning the project all-together, no bueno.

So, let’s see what we can do about this, and change from a fixed mindset, to a growth mindset.

I’m going to propose the fact that we as human beings are like putty.. Playdough… or clay… we are moldable and changeable through application and experience.

It is true that we all seem to be dealt a certain hand at times though, and are what we have become over time, but this is just our starting point for development. 

So, what can we do to help instill a growth mindset attitude in life and learning? 

Well, I have made a list here – I like making these lists for the podcasts because it makes it tangible and something you can take notes on for your later review.

Number 1 

So let’s get going with number one which is me as well- I’m not just talking to you out there listening.. I’m just as guilting of being too hard on myself as the next person, so let’s learn to embrace the fact that we are not perfect. We have imperfections and hiding from them or ignoring them means that we will never do what it takes to overcome them.

So let’s just put that first one over there to chew on later because I know it’s difficult to be in the game of learning a precise art like music- which is full of every-moment evaluations- yet keeping an open mind on the bigger picture that we will eventually see come to fruition.

Number 2 

Moving on to number two is that we can learn to take every little challenge and see it as an opportunity instead.. You know, this past winter my husband took on the challenge to make our lower pasture into an ice skating rink so the boys and all the friends around here could come and skate, play hockey and really have a lot of outdoor fun. 

Well, I will have to admit that I was completely impressed with his determination to figure it out. You know, he spent weeks leveling the ground and then even more weeks figuring out how to make ice.

 I’ll never forget the first chilly days when he came in all excited that he had successfully made frost! And then the next day he came in with bright eyes showing me a video on his phone to demonstrate that he had made ice marbles in the night – oh that was a good day, but it just continued to grow. 

His enthusiasm showed on his face since his eyes were shiny and his smile big. It was fun to watch this process, he went from frost, to snow, to marbles, to ice golf balls, and eventually he learned how to lay the water so that it became a one hundred and twenty foot long sheet of smooth ice. And.. we all have had so much fun with it. 

One time I heard my son Kort say something to a cousin who was over skating.. She had fallen down a few times and was feeling a bit embarrassed about it, when Kort skated over to her and complimented her by saying, “Sophie, you’re doing really great. If you aren’t falling, you’re not trying. Keep it up, you’re going to be really good soon!” 

I watched the look on her face change from defeat and discouragement to promise and excitement. She did get up. Over and over she got up.. And then as she continued to come each week, she got better and better until I noticed her racing around pretty skillfully with the others bright eyes and a big wide grin on her face. 

So, what can we learn from this? Makes you think anyway, doesn’t it?

Number 3

Number three here is to use different learning styles to solidify concepts. As a teacher I have always felt like this is key. I recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all in music… and it drives me bonkers when I see others teaching with a cut-and-dry method. What works for one person may not work for another, so it’s important to present information repeatedly and from different angles.

Here at Learn Flute Online I have this concept woven into the program and then re-presented again in the monthly fun that we have as live classes, ensembles, and bonus curriculum. I am just like the rest of you – I need to see something several different ways before it hits home and is perfectly internalized.

Number 4

Alright, number four today is to take a serious look at the process or the “journey” as I like to call it and value it over what you perceive is the end result. In music the journey IS the end result. Ask any major musician who has spent their life engulfed in this craft. 

Number 5 

Learning how to put aside an expected time frame is key to enjoying the learning process. It just is, and this will launch us into number five which is to focus on learning well instead of learning fast. We can relish in the growth skills which in turn foster a huge sense of accomplishment within time.. Not the other way around. Looking at time first and growth second is backwards. Appreciation for growth is what we want to gain.

Number 6 

And number six will be to start looking for signs of growth amongst others and appreciating what they’ve gone through and done to get where they are. Celebrating their wins and feeling an honest sense of acknowledgement of the process someone else has gone through.. And you being on the same path is a really nice way to learn to share music with someone else.

Number 7 

Number seven is that we’re going to reward our efforts. You know, I always have held a one hundred day contest for my studio over the past many years of teaching. We’ve traditionally started this fun in January, the first of the year with the goal being to not miss a single day of meaningful practice for an entire one hundred days. That is a huge accomplishment. 

At the end of the challenge the winners get a reward. A big one. If the one hundred days aren’t met, then the reward isn’t given and the student can choose to start their challenge over. It’s a game changer for so many students who have done it. Anyway, we can talk about this challenge more in detail another day, but for now getting back to our subject of rewarding our efforts, you can see that we are rewarding the consistency of practice, not any other end result.

If you aren’t sure you’re up for one hundred days yet, you can just start with ten. Can you do it? I challenge you! And make sure you have a nice reward in mind should you meet your goal. Be specific and go for it!

Number 8

Number eight is that we’re going to start using the word “yet” in our vocabulary when speaking of skills we have yet to reach perfection on. We all struggle with new tasks.. I know I do. I’m human just like all of you, and there are things I definitely cannot do well… YET. 

Catch yourself this week when you might be saying (either to yourself or to someone else) that you have something you can’t do … And then add the big enthusiastic “YET” to the end of it. You’ll see that it feels good and keeps you in a positive frame of mind.. Which is ready to move forward and continue on.

Number 9

Number nine is to allow me, as your teacher, and others to show you what we’ve learned. Allow me to break things down for you so that you can learn more easily. I’ve already gone through most, if not all of what you are going through as you journey towards musicianship. I’m not saying I`m the end-to-all-end-alls, but I definitely have been through enough hard knocks to see how I can make things more clear and easier for someone else coming up behind me.

Let me show you.

Be teachable.

We are all human with many of the same weaknesses. We weren’t born with our fingers uniquely moving to the funky finger pattern of a mixolydian scale – just as an example. We have to learn and we don’t need to make things so hard on ourselves. Again, let me show you. Be teachable, and enjoy coming into new skills like a blank slate. It’s cool.

Before we get to our last growth mindset item I’ll give you a recap of what we’ve learned so far:

  1. Get over the fact that we are not perfect
  2. See every little challenge is an opportunity
  3. Use different learning styles to solidify concepts
  4. Value the journey as much or more than the end result – because music is all about the journey
  5. Focus on learning instead of learning fast
  6. Appreciate and Acknowledge others’s growth
  7. Reward your efforts
  8. Start using the word YET when speaking of things you can’t do
  9. Allow me and others to show you what we’ve learned. Be Teachable.

Number 10

And now we’re going to end off with number ten which is to take complete ownership over our own attitude. Once we have studied this list of ten quick ways to create the growth mindset you need to excel in music, you’ll find that opportunities come to mind almost daily where you can check yourself and do a little reset to keep your needle pointing the right direction. 

I’m doing this now, and it’s something I’m really working on this month especially.

What about you? Can you do it?

I know you can.

Living life with an open mind and attitude in education is the best way to thoroughly enjoy your journey.

I’ll play you out now with a piece that kind of sounds familiar.. But kind of not – if you recognize it, let me know! See you again soon.

Thank you for Tuning In!

Please consider subscribing and taking a minute to leave a review and rating for the podcast on iTunes.

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about the 10 ways we can create a growth mindset to excel in music. Don’t forget to listen in to the next podcast!

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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