This guest post from Sebastian Quirmbach – Coach for Leadership and Creative Minds was originally published on
Hans-Peter Becker tells the story in his article “All I want is everything”. We met about 25-years-ago when I became a drumming student of his. As with many of his other students – he’s become a huge influence on my life and an incredibly important mentor to me.
I’m truly thankful for the confidence Hans-Peter had in me from our very first meeting. I was only 20-years-old when he introduced me to the ‘business of music’. I learned so much during my time at the Los Angeles Music Academy and especially in the years we branched out with the development of Modern Music School internationally; establishing the first Modern Music School location in the US as well as the Modern Music School franchise system. I developed professionally in ways that would turn out to be even more valuable than the post-secondary and graduate school studies that followed.
Throughout our time together, no matter what challenges we faced, Hans-Peter’s motto inspired me to keep pushing ahead – he’d always say, “let’s do it and then it’s done!”
I want to take a moment right now to thank him: thank you, Peter. Thank you for your never-ending dedication and enthusiasm. Thank you for the inspiration you were and continue to be to me and to so many students, teachers and MMS managers!
Back in the early days, I was given the opportunity to work up close with my childhood idols, the likes of Ralph Humphrey, Joe Porcaro and Mike Shapiro. These were stars of the international music scene and the faces that decorated my bedroom walls growing up.
I began to discover that my ‘heroes’ were normal people too. They didn’t become famous overnight. It was their level of motivation, diligence, discipline and a certain kind of hard-earned luck that led them to their success.
It became clear that under certain circumstances, all people are capable of achieving amazing things. This realization fascinated me so much that to this day, as a coach and psychologist, I focus on the mechanisms and strategies that help people and teams achieve success. And through it all, my love of music and learning are always there with me.
This is what makes my job as International Education Director for MMS so fun and rewarding.
I’m fascinated by the diversity of musicians I get to meet at MMS — from very young to much older students, from professionals to beginners. They’re a great inspiration to me. They constantly present me with new challenges. Compared to my not-so-musical clients, musicians are definitely a special breed.
I admire their high levels of creativity and dedication to music. I feel as though it’s my mission to foster this enthusiasm to pass it onto the next generation. In fact, I think it’s the most important job I have.
At MMS, we approach music lessons differently.
We have a holistic view. We don’t center our lessons on learning an instrument as fast, effectively and regimentally as possible. We think more broadly about the effects learning music has on our other skills, like motivation, concentration, resilience and creativity.
Our music lessons address and promote these skills. We make sure we’re providing students with inner resources they can draw on for the rest of their lives – in their home, school and work lives.
In this way, music lessons become specialized-skills training on all levels. By looking at it holistically, music lessons begin to promote the exact skills psychologists and educational experts highlight as the key skills for a successful, balanced and happy life.
Someone who’s learned to push through difficult phases of learning on their instrument will show more resilience in real life situations. Someone who’s able to set clear goals for the next band practice will be able to set reasonable goals in school and at work.
If you’ve learned to love a difficult task, you’ll be able to approach any task with a similar optimistic enthusiasm. And if you’ve been able to tap into your emotions through music, you won’t need any extra help with emotional intelligence and expression later on in life. The longer you play an instrument, the greater the benefits, for the rest of your life!
Learning music is learning life skills.
Music changed me and if I’ve inspired you to think about how music can change you, I’m so happy to keep the inspiration going!