How are your talent and commitment reflected in your product and your process? How are practice and perseverance involved in refining your process and improving your product? (Michael Tilson Thomas)

Objective

Students will record their practice sessions in order to analyze, evaluate, and interpret the talent and commitment they devote to their craft.

Activity

Show sections 7:00–8:36 (Ch. 4), 12:38–13:14 (Ch. 5), and 20:53–22:03 (Ch. 6) of the Thomas video. Discuss with your students how these YoungArts award winners’ commitment to their art form affects their lives.

Ask students to record at least three practice sessions. Students will then analyze and evaluate their talent and commitment to their craft by responding to the following questions for each session:

•   What day/time did the practice session occur? How long was the practice session?

•   With what techniques did you struggle? In what techniques did you excel?

•   What were your facial expressions and gestures throughout the process? How did they connect with the techniques you used during the practice session?

•   What emotions did you feel throughout the process? How did they con- nect with the techniques you used during the practice session?

•   How does the intersection of your head (intellectual capacity) and your heart (emotional reaction) create a critical response in your own mind to your process and your product?

Additionally, students may measure their practice by graphing the time, day, and length of each practice session, along with facial expressions, gestures, and emotions experienced as they correlate to the techniques practiced.

Closure

Have students use the data gathered in analyzing and evaluating practice sessions to interpret the talent and commitment they devote to their craft. Use the following guiding questions:

•   Which plays a greater role in your practice sessions: talent or commitment? Why do you think this is so?

•   As you practice, are you more concerned with process or product? Why?

•   What might you change in terms of how you practice your craft?

•   How good are your own critical judgments of your craft?

•   What are the biggest challenges to your perseverance in improving your practice and performance?