Be a Thermostat!

Dr. Matthew Arau • Leadership TipsSeptember 2023 • September 10, 2023

Do you ever wake up in the morning, check the temperature for the day on your phone, groan inwardly, and wish you could change the weather? Unfortunately, a thermometer can’t change the temperature, it simply measures and reports the weather. On the other hand, when the weather outside is uncomfortable, thankfully, we can adjust the indoor temperature with a thermostat. 

In many ways, the culture and environment of our classrooms and ensembles has a temperature, a vibe, an energy. We can either just accept the energy of the space and put up with it, or we can make the intentional decision to influence the energy. The key is to be a thermostat rather than a thermometer and change the weather in a positive direction. 

Here are five leadership tips for you and your students to be a thermostat.

1. Approach the learning process with curiosity and excitement and voice your feelings to the students around you.

2. View making music and creating art as a “get to do” rather than a “have to do.” 

3. Focus on the progress and improvements being made and share openly with enthusiasm.

4. Whatever you are doing, be all in. Don’t just go through the motions. Invest wholeheartedly with a great attitude into doing the best you can with the time you have.

5. Share appreciation, gratitude, and positive comments to elevate the energy and the attitudes of those around you. 

Yes, it is important to be able to take a read on the temperature of a group and be aware of the vibe in the room. And sometimes, the temperature is exactly where you want it to be. But when it is not, recognize you can make a difference, that you can be the change, and you can create a ripple effect of positivity through your intention, attitude, and deliberate actions.

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