First impressions

The first day, minutes of a a teacher’s school year are really critical.  As a professor, I was always nervous–even after 15 years–as I prepared for the first day.  It was not because I was nervous in front of strangers–I love it.  But I never understood why I worked harder on the first few stories, lessons than I did any equivalent amount of material during the semester.  The following story gave me some insight as to why it was important that I worked so hard and may be some insight as to why I achieved some success leading a group of learners.  

In an interview with Christopher Hogwood, a distinguished conductor with the Handel and Haydn Society in Boston, he was asked how important the first rehearsal was to setting the stage for the success of the orchestra.  His response?  “The first rehearsal?  All I have is the first few minutes.”  He went on to explain that there’s nothing he pays greater attention to than the first rehearsal.  That’s because he knows that the orchestra members will make a very quick assessment about whether or not they’re going to make great music together or whether he is just going to get in their way.

Jonathan Shaver