In particular, I remembered how a seemingly unimportant event turned out to be life changing. It happened the summer before I started Jr. High School (7th grade). I had attended a small, private elementary school that did not have a band program. I decided that I wanted to be in the Jr. High School band, and like most boys that age, I thought I wanted to be a drummer. I had even started taking private drum lessons.
When I visited the school and met the band director, he encouraged me to consider other instruments. As we talked, he suddenly said, “Hey! You have large hands! What kind of grades do you make?” Yeah, I know. It sounds crazy.
When he found out I was good student, he encouraged me to play bassoon. Now at the time, I’d never heard of a bassoon. But he insisted I’d be a natural, so I agreed to give it a try. And I loved it.
Switching to bassoon changed my life. I found that I love making music. I especially enjoy being part of a group that’s making music. As a bassoonist, I rarely have the lead line, but I love hearing how all the parts come together to make something bigger than each individual part. I have many fond memories of Jr. High, High School, and college band and orchestra. I even met my wife in college band.
I’m not sure how it came up, but I told this story at a local networking event recently, and the people I was talking to encouraged me to share it.
Why? Because they saw a coaching moment. The Jr. High School band director saw something in me that I didn’t. He recognized potential. And he encouraged me to meet it. Sounds a lot like a coach, doesn’t it?
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Have you had a life changing conversation? Share it in the comments below.
P.S. In case you’re wondering what large hands and good grades have to do with playing bassoon, that’s a topic for another blog post. Sign up to receive my newsletter to be notified when it is published. You’ll also get my free guide, Outsmart Your Phone: 12 Easy-To-Use Apps YOU Need.