Saturday, August 08, 2009

Benjamin Zander Inspires Boy to Play Beautifully

Master Cellist Illustrates Power of Unlimited Potential

Benjamin Zander, conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, presented a fantastic and inspiring workshop at the Pop!Tech Conference last year.

Zander talked about how many people live in the downward spiral and get stuck there. He illustrated this by drawing downward spirals on a board and stating how negative thoughts take us to a negative place that can become a fixed reality.

He then illustrated another way of living on another board. He drew a circle with arrows pointing outward from all sides of the circle. He said that this stood for unlimited potential. He said that when people live in this place they have unlimited potential.

Zander, a master cellist and master teacher, then illustrated the potential of embracing life's possibilities by inviting a 15-year-old student, Nikolai, from the audience to perform the cello and coaching him. He coaches him to play with more enthusiasm and beauty than one would think possible from a boy his age in a matter of minutes.

Zander said during his presentation that he started one of his music classes out by telling his students that he was giving them an A for a grade. He only had one condition for them to follow, that they would write a letter of who they would become by the end of the class. He said, "I teach only A students." He believes that when we can see a person's potential and remove what stands in the way that we can see people beautiful and full of potential.

Like Michelangelo said, "In every mold there is a beautiful statue. All that stands between that beautiful statue and the mold is a chisel and a hammer."

To view the transformational music lesson and workshop click here. It is 29 minutes long but well worth it.

PHOTO CAPTION: "Photo Courtesy"

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