Using mistakes to inspire motivation

Learn about: Using mistakes to inspire motivation from Fernando Pullum, MA,...
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Using mistakes to inspire motivation

I came up with a unique way to teach self-determination and perseverance for my students. I came up with a program that I call celebrating. When a kid makes a mistake, they have to do five push ups. It's not my punishment. We call it celebrating because if you can find your mistake, you can get better. So if we are celebrating, we have identified the mistake. If a kid ends up doing 25 push ups during a rehearsal, the next day they cut it down to 15. Then after that, 10, then 5, then none. They are using their own judgement and pushing themselves. It's not me yelling at them to do it. It's them pushing themselves internally, so they are learning to be disciplined and have some judgmental skills about the quality of their work. Self-motivation.

Learn about: Using mistakes to inspire motivation from Fernando Pullum, MA,...


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Fernando Pullum, MA

Director of Performing Arts & Educational Specialist

Fernando Pullum is an educator and professional musician. In 1989 LAUSD recognized Fernando’s music program as the first music magnet in South Los Angeles. During the years that followed, 100% of Fernando’s students graduated with a high school diploma and only one student failed to enroll in college during the next fifteen years. Fernando has been recognized by many organizations and individuals throughout his tenure, including Oprah, VH-1 and the State of California as its teacher of the year.

Over the years, Fernando’s students have performed for many dignitaries, including President Ford and Prince Charles.  The students have performed with Jackson Browne, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Lionel Hampton, Wynton Marsalis, Al Jarreau, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and many other incredible musicians. They have opened the Playboy Jazz Festival four times and traveled to Cuba, Brazil, Spain, and New York.

He has an MA in Music Education and a MA in Trumpet Performance.

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