Practice • February 8, 2019

Growth Mindset

By Miss Ruth

How many times have you heard a parent or a student make a statement about a very good student that goes something like this?

“She’s just so talented.  I wish I could play that well.”  

In the assessment of their peer’s ability, there’s absolutely no reference to EFFORT.  One of my very young students elicits this kind of comment frequently.  During a practice chart challenge I implemented last year, I discovered she practices 2-3 hours a day.  No wonder she plays so incredibly well and moves forward at the speed of light!   People often attribute success and skill to innate ability.  It’s mostly about effort.

If you can change your student’s way of thinking to realize how much effort matters, they will begin to think about how good they can become through more practice.   Knowing their ability level is within their control, they begin to develop autonomy and competence (two key ingredients for ramping up motivation!)

Quote of the month:

“A genius! For 37 years I’ve practiced fourteen hours a day, and now they call me a genius!” – Pablo Sarasate (Spanish violinist and composer of the Romantic era – late 1800’s)

You can read more of Ruth’s blog at