June 22

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Novelties and Cycles

Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge from back in 2014?

If you can't remember, or somehow you missed it, it worked something like this. You shared a video on Facebook or YouTube of you having a bucket of ice water poured on your head.

You'd then challenge others to do the same.

And it was honor code that if you participated in the challenge, then you donated something to ALS research.

The idea spread like wildfire and raised over $100 million for ALS research.

About a year or so after the craze died down, the ALS Foundation tried to bring the Ice Bucket Challenge back.

It didn't take off. Like...at all.

When it comes to developing new, exciting ideas that spread, novelty wears off quickly.

A similar phenomenon happens with the piano app Piano Maestro. It's like Guitar Hero, but for piano.

Students love playing with the app for about a week (I receive a weekly report showing all the stats). The following week, usage drops substantially. And by week #3, they're not using the app at all.

It's not necessarily a bad thing. But something to be aware of in the ongoing effort to create change.

That we always need to come up with and cycle through new, fresh ideas to replace the old ones that fall by the wayside. 

And in so doing, continue our pursuit for that Holy Grail idea that creates real change for the long haul.

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For parents, students, and anyone else who believes that music can and should be a meaningful part of everyone's life.

About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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