Are your players’ eyes shining?


Guys! I just discovered this incredible TED talk, I’ve so far watched it three times all the way through. His passion is contagious. His insight on music is brilliant. And he is hilarious (the accent helps, too). And the story he tells at the end – WOW.

The main jist of the talk is about how we all love classical music, even if we don’t realize it (and truly, even those who claim to be ambivalent toward or dislike classical music cannot not be moved by his performance at 13:10…)

But my favorite part is when he says the following (starts at 17:20):

Now, I had an amazing experience. I was 45 years old, I’d been conducting for 20 years, and I suddenly had a realization. The conductor of an orchestra doesn’t make a sound. My picture appears on the front of the CD, but the conductor doesn’t make a sound. He depends, for his power, on his ability to make other people powerful. And that changed everything for me. It was totally life changing. . . . I realized my job was to awaken possibility in other people. And of course, I wanted to know whether I was doing that. And you know how you find out? You look at their eyes. If their eyes are shining, you know you’re doing it. . . . If the eyes are not shining, you get to ask a question. And this is the question: who am I being, that my players’ eyes are not shining? We can do that with our children, too. Who am I being, that my children’s eyes are not shining?

And you know, I have a definition of success. For me, it’s very simple. It’s not about wealth and fame and power. It’s about how many shining eyes I have around me.

How different would our lives be if we were to ask ourselves these questions every day? About our loved ones, our spouses, our children, our colleagues, our students, everyone with whom we interact – Who am I being that their eyes are not shining?

In sum, this man is  brilliant, contagiously passionate, and very funny. Well worth the watch!

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