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What's the key to success? It's not always hard work!
Having given a week of masters and doctoral oral exams recently, we were reminded that being a "good student", preparing with study guides and lists, and putting in the work to cover what "they might ask" - isn't always going to ensure success. 
Sometimes, students don't pass, and some of those are “A” students!! What was missing for these students?  1) The ability to recall and demonstrate independent thinking across topics, and 2) a sense of curiosity and engagement. And it's no surprise, the latter contributes the most to the former!  
When you don't have that innate curiosity, at worst you don't "pass", or maybe you will pass, but leave an impression of complacency to your craft and your industry. The students who nailed the oral questions AND demonstrated independence of thought, depth of knowledge and lived experiences? These are the ones we know will succeed.
When you embark on any journey, whether it's getting a music degree, preparing for an audition, or applying for a job, one of the worst questions you can ask yourself is “will it be on the test?”.  Literally (and figuratively) approaching life as a set of requirements to meet likely won't get you the outcome you want! 
ⓧ Getting good grades and checking all the boxes? Not the key to success.  
ⓧ Even putting in hard, very hard work? Unfortunately, this isn't the key to success either.
Both working hard and being thorough are definitely great attributes. But if you fail to look beyond the test and fail to ask more than the question "What?", most likely you won't achieve the outcomes you desire.
We're not discounting the A's, the 4.0's or the certificates - these are awesome and deserve to be acknowledged. But: is merely checking the boxes, getting ‘the grade’ or being handed that certificate or degree your definition of success? 
is it to seek expanded possibility and open the doors to a fruitful, fulfilling life and career?  
If this is your thing, hooray! We're on the same page. Now, to ask the better question - HOW? 
Things you can do today to take steps beyond “the test” and get on the path to true success: 
1)  Create a mindset shift with the three important ingredients: enrollment, curiosity, and real-world experiences that. Developing these attributes help you work smarter, be wiser, and ask the better "how" questions.  Read the blog for the full discussion! 
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2) Remind yourself that there are many, many attributes that are just as important as how you play.
3) Do the “Spark Your Potential as a 21c Musician” 7-day email course where you'll apply your whole self to your career through tools and resources to move forward in action.  This includes:
  • knowing our value and recognizing the skills we already have
  • clarifying what we care about and how we want to make an impact
  • opening your mind to ways you can monetize these skills
  • aligning body, mind and heart for wellness at all levels.
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We believe the people that are most successful aren't the most talented. They're the ones with an open mind, a plan, and the ability to move forward in action. They're also the ones that are curious, that seek out new perspectives and that are open to taking risks.
Tiffany, Ixi & Ted 
p.s. TLDR? Go beyond whats on “the test”!  Ways to do that are on the blog, a list of things as important as how you play, and taking action through the 7-day email course to Spark Your Potential
The THRIVE 4-month Summer Session IS OPEN FOR ENROLLMENT! Through May 5  Learn more and commit to action here!

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