PART 2 There is no such thing as an Overachiever
Disclaimer: THE GRAPHIC IS NOT INTENDED TO SAY THAT I AM THE WORLD’S GREATEST OVER ACHIEVER. IT IS ONLY TO GET YOUR ATTENTION. Did it work?
In Japan many children learn to play musical instruments at a very young age. This is called the Suzuki method. According to Wikipedia, the Suzuki method, also Suzuki movement, is a method of teaching music conceived and executed by Japanese violinist and pedagogue Shin’ichi Suzuki (1898–1998) dating from the mid-20th century. The central belief of Suzuki, based on his language acquisition theories, is that all people are capable of learning from their environment. The essential components of his method spring from the desire to create the “right environment” for learning music. He also believed that this positive environment would also help to foster character in students.
…all children can be well educated…
The central belief of Suzuki, based on his language acquisition theories, is that all people can (and will) learn from their environment. The essential components of his method spring from the desire to create the “right environment” for learning music (he believed that this positive environment would also help to foster excellent character in every student). These components include:
- Saturation in the musical community. This includes attending local concertsof classical music, developing friendships with other music students, and listening to music performed by “artists” (professional classical musicians of high caliber) in the home every day (starting before birth if possible).
- Deliberate avoidance of musical aptitude tests or “auditions” to begin music study. Suzuki firmly believed that teachers who test for musical aptitude before taking students, or teachers who look only for “talented” students, are limiting themselves to people who have already started their music education. Just as every child is expected to learn their native language, Suzuki expected every child to be able to learn to play music well when they were surrounded with a musical environment from infancy. (This does not preclude auditions for public performances).
- Emphasis on playing from a very young age, typically starting formal instruction between the ages of three and five years old and sometimes beginning as early as age two.
- Using well trained teachers, preferably also trained in using the Suzuki materials and philosophy. Suzuki Associations all over the world offer ongoing teacher-training programs to prospective and continuing Suzuki teachers. A basic competency as a performer was recently made mandatory for all teachers in the Suzuki Association of the Americas; a music degree is not required.
In Japan, and in many parts of the world, these children are not considered “Overachievers”, because they have had a plan to learn to play music from a young age and have had teachers/coaches who have helped them along the way.
What if we each accepted the Suzuki philosophy of learning a new skill or growing a skill we already have? If we had a plan to grow, to get better at something we enjoyed, and we had a coach, who helped us discover what we love to do, who helped us believe that we can do it, and who held us accountable, would we not become better than average, better than the norm? Would we then become better leaders, salespeople, coworkers, employees, parents, or maybe better musicians or even better golfers?
For each of us to reach our dream, we must have the plan to attain the dream,and the coach to help us discover that dream and have that coach develop the plan that will allow us to become what the world calls “Overachievers.”
In part 3 we will finish discussing why there is no such thing as an “Overachiever” and how the belief that there is such a thing can and is keeping us from becoming our very best.