Thoughts + Articles

Gratitude as An Attitude

Have you shown anyone an attitude of gratitude lately?   Do you have a mentor, teacher, coach, or friend who has guided you on your journey through life? When did you thank them for helping you? Talent is not enough. Someone has to help you direct traffic and inspire and motivate you for success.

Zig Ziglar said, “Of all the attitudes we can acquire, surely the Attitude of Gratitude is the most important and by far most life changing. ”

As a young student, my roommate, Anna Brady, a wonderful violist, artist, and scholarship student from New Jersey from a family of 9 siblings, introduced me to her teacher at the Juilliard School, Professor William Lincer. He was the former Principal Violist of the Cleveland Orchestra, the former Principal Violist of the New York Philharmonic, a member of the Gordon Quartet, and had been teaching for over 40 years.

Professor Lincer heard me play and immediately added me into his chamber music class. Throughout the year he motivated and inspired me to be the very best violinist I could be. He was a marvelous teacher patiently working with each member of my chamber group to improve their playing. He called me the “red hot fiddler” because he enjoyed my musical phrasing. At the end of that year, I decided to switch instruments to the viola so I could study with Professor Lincer as one of his viola students the following September.

Professor Lincer sent me that summer to the University of Cincinnati Congress of Strings on full scholarship to study with his former student Mr. Eugene Becker. Becker was a marvelous teacher, violist in the New York Philharmonic, and later the Assistant Principal Violist of the Philharmonic. He taught me to enjoy the rich deep sound of the viola and inspired his students to work hard and do their best. I began the summer sitting last chair in the viola section of the orchestra at Cincinnati Congress of Strings and by the end of the summer moved to the Principal Viola chair and played an 8 bar viola solo. For several summers I studied with Mr. Eugene Becker and appreciated his help and guidance.

I continued studying with Professor Lincer through my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree and continued to study viola and chamber music with him for many years after finishing at the Juilliard.

When I began studying with Professor Lincer, he sent me to a Yoga Class for exercise, Alexander Technique classes for posture and movement and meditation classes to release stress. He was dedicated to helping each student be his or her best. He also had a reading list and you read and studied the book and wrote a report on it to Professor Lincer to make sure you understood the importance of the book. He was interested in motivating, inspiring, and encouraging his students to be as educated as possible and was always reading and studying to improve his ability as a teacher and mentor.

Professor William Lincer taught for 70 years working “to unlock a student’s special talent.” Before Professor Lincer died in August 1997, he made me promise to write to Dr. Gerald Edelman and Dr. Oliver Sacks. I wrote both doctors and received letters from both of them, which I treasure. Dr. Edelman wrote in his letter, “I was sad to hear that Professor Lincer died. He was a superb musician and a broad ranging spirit.”

Dr. Gerald Edelman is a violinist, medical doctor, researcher, and Nobel Prize winner for his work in immunology. He had also been working on his study of the brain. Professor Lincer admired, Dr. Edelman’s book “Bright Air, Brilliant Fire: On The Matter Of The Mind”.

Dr. Oliver Sacks is a pianist, medical doctor specializing in Neurology and uses music to help his patients heal faster. Dr. Edelman says, “This power of music to integrate and cure, to liberate the Parkinsonian and give him freedom while it quite fundamental, and seen in every patient.” Dr. Sacks has written many books on his work with his patients. His first book “Awakenings” was made into a movie.

Professor Lincer encouraged me over the years to do research into music and the brain and study how so many scientists, mathematicians, and medical doctors were also musicians. The research turned into my book, “The Secret of Teaching Science and Math Through Music” an best seller.

Studying a musical instrument is a powerful tool for teaching students discipline, teamwork, concentration, and self esteem.

Coach John Wooden said, “It takes 10 hands to make a basket.” Remember to be a success and reach your goal it takes many teachers, coaches, friends, and mentors to help you on your journey through life. No one does it alone.

So what are 3 things you should do to thank your teachers, coaches, mentors, and friends for helping you to succeed on your journey?

1) Start a note book today and write in it the names of your teachers, mentors, coaches, and friends who have made a difference in your life and do something nice for them.

2) Honor a special person in your life on a weekly basis by acts of kindness to others. Zig Ziglar said, “Of all the attitudes we acquire, surely the Attitude of Gratitude is the most important and by far most life changing.”

3) Remember that if we help others we will be helping ourselves at the same time.

Be grateful for your blessings and thank your teachers, mentors, friends, and coaches who have helped you on your journey.

What have I learned from Anna Brady, Professor William Lincer, and Mr. Eugene Becker?

1) To think calmly, clearly, and be persistent about solving problems and reaching goals.

2) To have a teachable spirit.

3) To teach others and help them learn and grow.

Coach John Wooden said, “It takes 10 hands to make a basket.” To be a success it takes the help of teachers, friends, and coaches to reach your goal. No one does it alone.


Madeline Frank, Ph.D., DTM is an Best Selling Author , sought after speaker, business owner,motivational teacher, researcher, and concert artist. She helps businesses and organizations “Tune Up their Businesses”. Her innovative observations show you the blue prints necessary to improve and keep your business successful.

She writes a monthly newsletter “Madeline’s Monthly Article & Musical Tips” and a monthly radio show “Madeline’s One Minute Musical Radio Show”. She has just published her new book “Leadership On A Shoestring Budget”.

Contact Madeline Frank for your next speaking engagement at



This entry was posted on Friday, February 21st, 2014 at 3:48 am and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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