Today’s guest post is from Fran Kick, professional speaker, author and division head of the Leadership Weekend Experience at the Music for All Summer Symposium presented by Yamaha. Fran Kick also co-presents the Future Music Educators’ Experience during the Grand National Championships.

for Fran kick Week 4 blog

Last week we talked about the real competition – learning week to week and improving yourself, yet how can you make sure you know what you’re doing?

Well in addition to the strategies shared last week, here are a few things you can do:

First, learn it right the first time. While it may sound like it’s too late in the season for that – you’d be surprised how many things we learn incorrectly. You’ve heard the expression that “practice makes perfect” – well in truth “practice makes permanent!” The more you do it wrong, the more challenging it can be to fix it later on. After all “old habits do die hard.”

Second, figure out what you’re already doing right and identify what still needs work. Create a list of “everything you still need to fix!” While some of these items will be addressed in the few rehearsals that remain, many more will not.

Finally, take what you need to work on and plan when (outside of rehearsal time) you’re going to work on it. Perform what you work on for others and have them “check you off” so you’ll know you got it.

Making sure you know what you’re doing individually is the single greatest thing you can do to improve yourself and your section. Your directors and staff have a limited number of rehearsals left to correct way too many things. Show some initiative and make sure you know what you’re doing.


This post was originally released on the “Break Ranks” podcast with Dan Potter. The .mp3 audio file is available to hear, download, and share.


Fran Kick currently serves as division head of the Music for All Summer Symposium Leadership Weekend Experience. He is a nationally-recognized speaker and educational consultant who talks with students and the many people who work with them. You can find more information about his work with music-related organizations and events at