When I hear a student start a sentence with "I didn't think I could do it, but..." If I hear those words, I know the student has discovered something new about themselves. Students always have more potential than they know. I hope that my classes open them up to new ideas about what they are able to accomplish.
Kevin Durant, the All-Star small forward for the Golden State Warriors, once wrote that his favorite quote was "Hard work beats talent when talent doesn't work hard." There is a perception that talent is all you need to succeed as an athlete or an artist. While talent is important, work ethic is a much more accurate predictor of an individual's capacity for success. Consistent hard work and effort are critical to success as an artist.
Aaron Copland's ballet Appalachian Spring danced by the Martha Graham Company is one of the most breathtaking artistic performances ever produced. Appalachian Spring, in my opinion, is the greatest piece of American music ever written, and to see it with Martha Graham's choreography as she dances the lead role is incredible. It is a perfect example of how music, dance, drama, and visual art can come together to create a complete work of art. There is a video of the Graham Company's first reproduction of the ballet from 1959 available on YouTube in four parts (the piece was premiered in 1944).