Why is describing yourself so hard…

I’ve just realised my partner has written on the ‘About IzzI’ thing above. When I worked out how to change it I didn’t have the heart too because I am so flattered, I want to keep it haha. It’s so easy to find the good things you see in everyone else but when it’s about yourself… Nope. I want to describe myself as a Cellist but I just don’t quite believe it. It’s too a big a title, it describes so many people I look up too. When people say ‘…so what do you do?’ I have always said ‘oh I play the cello’ because cellist sounds important like an accomplishment whereas just playing something is implying I’m in the process of trying. It’s like when you introduce a piece you’re playing in a performance I always feel like saying ‘I’m going to try and play Bach’s…’ because as soon as you say ‘try’ you immediately make it OK to fail. That is terrible, people really shouldn’t say try. But it’s just so easy to say/think you’re going to fail because then you’re not as disappointed if you do…

That is such a bad thing to say and I would NEVER let anyone believe they were going to fail, at anything but it’s OK for me I think that. Yep, haha. That is weird.

A cellist also sounds like a performer and I’ve never had that drive to be a soloist. Can you be a (instrumental/vocal) teacher without being a performer, maybe, but would it be better if you were? How can you drive people to share their playing/music when you don’t want to yourself?

The whole performer- teacher debate is massive…
Can you be completely one without the other? Have you had teachers where you’ve thought yeah you’re more a performer. Why though? How do they show that?

Do the best performers make the best teachers? You would think logically that would be true but it definitely isn’t. Is it? Is that question more obvious for people inside or outside the music world? Surely if you see someone doing something extremely well you’d assume they could teach it.

Why can some people explain better than others, is it just down to the desire to teach? And it’s only the people that don’t want to but just end up teaching that make not as affective teachers. As all I’ve ever wanted to do is teach I find it hard to understand not wanting to share your skills to help someone else.

My words are not really justified since I am not a teacher (yet!) and only come from someone who wants to be.

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5 thoughts on “Why is describing yourself so hard…

  1. I love your collection of beautiful things and your partner’s message. So true that it’s easier to see and acknowledge good things in other people but it feels uncomfortable to do the same for yourself. Does that mean we are unconfident? Or maybe we can just see how incomplete our learning journey is.
    Teaching? Is it a gift? Is it a certain type of person who makes a good teacher? How do we learn being a good teacher? I’m still learning about these questions myself despite my age (55).

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    • Thank you for your comment 🙂 All the stuff on my shelf are things I’ve been given, found or made and the note I woke up with on my pillow. I put it all on a shelf to try to encapsulate the message of everyone and everything is beautiful. And now a part of my room is on the internet which is still quite funny to me! I love the fact that every time someone comes on my page they can read ‘You are beautiful’ because sometimes it’s hard for people to remember that. That’s why I wanted to put it there 🙂

      I think teaching could be a gift and yes a certain type of person could become a good teacher but I don’t think people can say ‘you have it or you don’t’ because I think the only way to truly learn to be a good teacher is by experience and adapting yourself and your actions to every circumstance. Decent levels of versatility and empathy seem to be my conclusions lately of what a teacher needs up their (massive haha) sleeve 🙂

      I’m sure we’ve all experienced at least one good teacher in our lives, that just instantly grab you and it is hard to put your finger on some of there attributes or is there just one main thing they all share…

      I think it’s passion… I’m going to be writing a big old post on this! 😀

      I know my learning of teaching will never ever stop 🙂

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  2. Hi Izzi and welcome to the world of blogging. 🙂 First, I’d like to say that you have a very nice style and tone to your writing. I enjoyed reading your posts that felt reflective, thoughtful and hmmmm playful is the word that comes to my mind, and it’s very refreshing combination.

    The other thing that I wanted to share with you here is what came to my mind in response to you question “Why can some people explain better than others, is it just down to the desire to teach? And it’s only the people that don’t want to but just end up teaching that make not as effective teachers.”

    The word that for me best describes the ability that allows someone to explain something clearly to someone else is “Empathy”. This is one dictionary definition ” the psychological identification with or vicarious experiencing of the feelings, thoughts, or attitudes of another.” . I think the ability to imagine, understand and sense what someone else knows, where they are stuck, how they feel and where they are as you explain something is key. Knowing something very well doesn’t mean that I’m automatically good at explaining it or teaching it to others. One of the common examples is someone who knows how to get from point A to point B in the city but when they give you directions they get you completely lost.

    But is empathy a gift that some people have and others don’t, a skill that can be learned and developed or both? 🙂 Well for now I have to run. Just wanted to welcome you.

    Best wishes for great adventures as a learner, teacher and blogger.:)

    Maha

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    • Hello, I’d just like to thank you for welcoming me! And for all the lovely things you said about my writing 🙂 I’ve wanted to comment back for ages.

      Empathy fits perfectly… It’s so interesting… I love that you called it a gift like it’s something we should care about and look after. Be thankful for our good attributes sounds like a good message to me 🙂

      I wonder if you first copy it as a child and can only learn the initiative to think of it yourself. Would you broaden and learn how to gauge our own empathy quicker the bigger the household you lived in because you would be forced to deal with more and different social situations. I think the empathy you show is different for the relationship you have with the person you’re helping and you would only be able to learn that by having varied relationships.

      If empathy is used in reaction to another person’s problems (absolutely anything) then does it make a more empathetic person the more problems they’ve experienced? Dealing with difficult social situations is a great skill and I think empathy is gained and shown through them.

      Can you understand the feelings of another if you haven’t experienced the feelings yourself? Or could you learn just by observation and not actual involvement. Are you more empathic to certain situations if you’ve experienced them?

      I think you unintentionally learn it just though what you’ve had to live through. I’d love to learn to be more empathetic, where’s an empathy class? Haha. Out of all careers in life does teaching require you to be most empathic out of all the subjects… A medical doctor acknowledges more physical problems I suppose, maybe psychiatry more…?

      If we believe everything we do is only a reaction to a certain situation and then if you lived in a box your whole life (among a million other dodgy things) you would never experience empathy so would you show it? I’m not sure… Oh dear not that big old nature-nurture subject…

      Think that’s where I’ll stop! Haha 🙂

      I hope you never ever feel obliged to reply because I’m only spouting my own thoughts 🙂

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  3. I think, and I think that you might think too, about titles like ‘being a Cellist’ in much the same was as Anthony Grayling thinks about being called a philosopher, namely that ‘It is almost an honorific [title], which third parties might apply to someone only if he or she merited it.’ So being called a cellist would be a mark of respect and an acknowledgement of skill.

    Then there’s the decent quotation from Edison about not failing to create a lightbulb several hundred times but rather finding several hundred ways not to make light bulbs. So maybe Edison would argue that someone only really fails when they give up. I think that failure is weighted to heavily, it’s hard to accept our failures and move on when we focus so much attention on them, and perhaps that’s what really makes a failure a failure.

    I didn’t really intend to write that second paragraph, I only really wanted to say that I agree that calling someone a Cellist marks an accomplishment and respect. Now I’ve done that I’m going to call you a Cellist.

    You Cellist.

    P.S. First blog comment I’ve written in several years. Blogging was a great idea!

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