The older I get the less tolerant I seem to be with the “I can’ters” of the world who spend far more time bitching about what they think they cannot do rather than investing time to accomplish what they can do.

In the studio, students quickly learn two valuable lessons: 1) tell the story with your music, and 2) we don’t use phrases like “I can’t” or “it’s too hard/difficult” or anything that chips away at their confidence. It’s the same as dropping the F-bomb. I love watching students scramble to revise their “I can’ts” to “I’ve got this.”

Growing up, an “I can’t” comment was quickly met with Mother’s glare and set jaw. If one bravely, or stupidly, proceeded to argue their “I can’t” this was about the only time we ever saw a true bitchy side of Mother. It was usually punctuated with, “fine; do whatever you want” and she’d leave the room.

Until the errant “I can’ter” came around, we lived with a real-life Elsa from FROZEN! No bad ass football coach could compete with Mother’s icy silence when dealing with a child’s reluctance. “I know it’s the first time you’ve tried it but dive into the water, anyway. You’ll figure out how to swim.”

“Do your best,” Mother’s only mantra, request, or stricture, included being an “I can’er” because that attitude involved doing one’s best. We didn’t have financial wealth but we certainly maintained a healthy life-account of inner confidence that would become a foundation for everything we did and continue to do.

I will allow my students to bemoan certain circumstances so they can temporarily wallow in a very shallow puddle of pity, but even they soon figure out it’s time to quit wallowing, shake off the pity-puddle, and get on with it.

Don’t be an “I can’ter.”

We have iPhones, iPads, iPods, iThis & iThats. Be an iCan. (LOL) For my non-iProduct friends, just figure this out and stop bitching about which is better!

iCan make it a great day. uCan make it a great day, too.

About Wright Flyer Guy

Darin is a single adoptive father, a teacher, playwright, and musical theatre director from Kettering, Ohio.
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