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Most things in life can be narrowed down to TWO THINGS. Well, that’s what my college voice teacher thought anyways. After presenting her with my latest over practiced aria or art song she would always reply with, “OK, TWO THINGS…” I wasn’t sure if maybe she thought three things would be too much to handle or maybe this was just the way she had been taught in her college years.

Recently I was asked the popular question, “Do you think my child is good enough to be accepted into a college music program?” Or “What does it take for a student to get accepted into a college music program?”

I answered with TWO THINGS. It’s an easy answer really. This is a question that I can answer with great clarity and confidence. The student must be TWO THINGS: self-aware and self-motivated.

I really believe that possessing these two qualities are the key to a performer’s success and actually just success in general.

I know you are asking yourself right this minute: Am I those TWO THINGS? Do I possess those two very important characteristics?

A person that is self-aware is someone who knows exactly how their talent fits into the world. They are honest with themselves about their talent, strengths and abilities. They are not only aware of the level of talent they possess but also happy in their level at that particular time. They are not only aware of their strengths but also their weaknesses. After all we are ALL works in progress. (Thanks P.M.!) and if they aren’t happy with their self-assessed talent? Well, that’s where self-motivation enters the story.

Self-motivation is an amazing thing. I see the benefits and effects of its work every day through my students. The possibilities are endless for a student who is self-motivated. I believe that educators are able to encourage and strengthen a student’s ability to practice self-motivation. I also think a certain percentage of it is innate rather than learned. It is something you are born with and can’t live without pursuing. It’s drive. It propels you forward into a world where your self-assessed talent never even dreamed of living.

TWO THINGS. If we all took life just TWO THINGS at a time I think we may all be just a little bit more successful.

Submitted by LBWietig 4/8/2014

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