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Mark Burke is CEO and founder of THINK'ID8

CrossPit Challenge

By Mark T. Burke

Have you seen the latest innovation in fitness competition? The CrossFit community (Reebok CrossFit) has created itself from scratch in a short period of time. CrossFit participants practice for the unexpected. Each day, their workouts consist of bizarre combinations of exercises, strange moves, with INSANE goals. Their goal is to prepare for a CrossFit competition where they don’t know what the exercises will be, or to what level they will be expected to perform. Sound familiar?

As musicians, isn’t this what we do? We practice scales, drills, exercises, with talent stretching goals in mind, with no idea what the next performance will require of us. We learn to play new instruments, new styles, new music, and participate in new ensembles all so we can thoroughly experience the world of music. When opportunities to perform arise, we take them. When chances come up to compete with others, we sign up. We love participating, performing and competing.

I doubt anyone would look at CrossFit activities and say, “That’s not REAL fitness.” CrossFit has made itself popular, exciting, in an effort to attract more talent, participation and support from an audience. What can we learn from CrossFit? Can we make music participation popular, exciting, with the same results?

One of the cool things about CrossFit is the WOD’s. Well, WO’sD’s really 🙂 WOD stands for Workout of the Day. WODs are posted all over the web providing opportunities for people to try their hand at new and old moves, to extreme levels, in new combinations. After completion, participants can post their WOD stats. Bonds are formed, new levels of skill are achieved, goals are set, reached, reset, shared. The cycle is a powerful thing.

What can music teachers take away from the practice of posting WOD’s? Is there an opportunity for something similar in music education? Can the challenge and social aspects be applied to a benefit to our kids? Some groups have already caught on…like this one in King of Prussia who combines CrossFit and SAT Prep.

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Maybe we can develop CrossFit Band Camp, or CrossPit Challenges where instrumentalists compete on multiple instruments.

I would love to hear your thoughts. If nothing else, you’ve learned about a great way to stay fit….But, really…we can learn from so many other areas of interest. Why not do so?

Thanks for reading.

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