Music is an attitude. If you're a musician, you know that the way we walk into a space can determine what we ultimately create. That's why it's so important to get into the right headspace before walking into a music space. Many musicians and instructors achieve this through the use of positive affirmations. Positive affirmations can prime you to give your all before conducting an online music lesson, meeting with students, guiding a classroom or directing a musical performance! You don't have to have a degree in psychology to use positive affirmations in your classroom. Take a look at the many benefits of using positive affirmations in a music setting.
What Are Positive Affirmations?
Positive affirmations help us to engage in positive self-talk that overwrites the negative thoughts that we have. It is easy to feel defeated by negative voices in our heads that make us feel as though we aren't qualified or talented enough to share our gift of music with the world. Many teachers at all stages of their careers face discouragement. However, feelings of discouragement can actually be powerful tools that help you relate to your students as they work on their own journeys.
Positive affirmations aren't just popular among the self-help crowd. Scientists are actually confirming what many gurus already know about positive self-talk. New research shows that positive affirmations actually provide serious brain boosts! In one study, researchers were able to observe the way that positive affirmations actually activate regions of the brain called the ventral striatum (VS) and ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMPFC) that are associated with rewards! Studies also show that self-affirmation increases activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) and posterior cingulate (PCC) portions of the brain. This is interesting because these areas help to dictate self-related processing. In ordinary terms, that means that self-affirmations may actually help us to create strong emotional buffers against any negative or difficult information we encounter. It is almost as if affirmations provide us with a type of "armor" that makes us more durable and adaptable as we take on the day!
Something that researchers have also discovered about affirmations is that they tend to be more effective when they are focused on future orientation instead of reflecting on "past" things. This means that affirmations that allow us to project ourselves into the future can make us feel more empowered. It may even be helpful to visualize a future version of yourself when saying affirmations to really "transport" yourself to that success point!
Why Affirmations Are So Helpful for Music Teachers
Affirmations have a double purpose for music educators. First, a music teacher can use positive affirmations to feel more confident in their ability to share music with students. Positive affirmations can reaffirm your passion for music. They can also help to relieve any doubt about the importance of what you've chosen as your life's calling. Additionally, affirmations can serve as reminders that you are providing students with useful, empowering lessons that are really working. Here's a look at some of the benefits of positive affirmations in the classroom:
- Affirmations reduce anxiety.
- Affirmations can boost self-esteem.
- Affirmations can get everyone on the "same page" mentally.
- Affirmations can "fill in the gaps" for children who don't receive positive talk at home.
- Affirmations that are learned in the classroom can be used in any setting!
Ideally, affirmations should be said prior to a music lesson. However, an instructor may find that stopping class when there are obvious signs of discouragement, defeat or lack of focus for some affirmations can also be beneficial. As an educator, you may find that getting in the habit of saying positive affirmations on your own as soon as you wake up in the morning can be beneficial. You can even make affirmations part of the homework plan for your students! Next, let's cover some affirmations that you can adopt!
15 Original Positive Affirmations for Music Teachers
Are you ready for some affirmations that are easy to remember? These little boosters can become your personal mantras when you really need to pull some inspiration from deep inside yourself!
1. “I am present and ready! I will give my all to the musical adventure that is waiting for me today. I am excited to see what I will learn and discover!"
2. "I trust in my ability to grow as a musician."
3. "I enjoy the process of practicing my craft."
4. "Starting is the hardest part. Once I begin, intuition and creativity will guide me the rest of the way."
5. "I embrace all of the challenges and frustrations because they make me a stronger, more powerful musician."
6. "I am grateful to be able to be here making music today."
7. "I got this far by doing the hard work. I will continue on."
8. "I don't fear my failures because they show me where I can improve."
9. "I am willing to put in the work it takes to get the results I want."
10. "The work feels hard because I have chosen an extraordinary path."
11. "I take pride in being compassionate and collaborative in order to become a better educator."
12. "I will use my gratitude for being able to do what I love as fuel to become even better at what I do."
13. "Music is a gift to the world that I am giving life to every time I teach."
14. "The sun never tires of rising. I never tire of practicing. Both are art."
15. "Dedication is nothing without repetition."
Short, simple affirmations are typically best because you can repeat them rhythmically when you need a quick "shot" of inspiration. You can also layer several affirmations to really rev up for the day. Next, we'll look at some powerful ways to use affirmations to create a "living" classroom.
Some Ideas for Bringing Encouragement to a Music Classroom
Educators can actually use some simple techniques to incorporate affirmations into the classroom experience. This will help to strengthen the positive environment you're hoping to create. Here's a look at some of the easiest ways to use positive self-talk and thinking in a music classroom:
- Pass out a new written affirmation each week. This affirmation can become the mantra of the week for your classroom.
- Praise students when you see them "living out" affirmations that have been covered in class.
- Encourage students to compose original music that is inspired by specific affirmations.
- Encourage students to discover examples of affirmations in musical pieces you are covering.
- Encourage students to share their vulnerabilities regarding their abilities when challenges arise.
- Share your own stories of discouragement from your personal music journey.
Positive affirmations have a special place in a music classroom due to the fact that learning an instrument is one of the most challenging things a person will ever do! What's more, the journey of being a musician is never really done. Pursuing music in any capacity means entering into a lifelong wrestling match against your own pride, discouragement and lethargy. As an educator, you can use affirmations to help students really discover themselves through the process of mastering an instrument.
Find Your Inspiration With Help From Prodigies Music
At Prodigies, we believe that beginning a musical experience for the first time should be a positive experience for learners of all ages! That's why we're proud to offer online learning tools that are designed for both first-time instructors as seasoned teachers with decades of experience. Let us help you make teaching music to children easier and more rewarding than ever before with our affordable memberships that offer access to hundreds of lessons and resources per month!