Read the Episode 88, with Beth Duhon - Movement


Here is the Crescendo Music Education Podcast – Episode 88. Welcome back to my series about music teacher wellbeing with our guest Beth Duhon. This episode, we’re going to talk about movement.

This podcast is being recorded on the lands of the Turrbal people. I acknowledge them as the traditional owners of the land and pay my respects to elder’s past, present and emerging. They were the first music makers on this land.

About ‘Read the Episode’: Sometimes, we would rather skim visually than listen to a podcast! That’s a great way to learn too!
The transcript of episode 088 of The Crescendo Music Education Podcast is below.

Here’s a little quote for you by unknown “Exercise not only changes your body, it changes your mind, your attitude and your mood”. Here’s another one by Gene Tunney “Exercise should be regarded as a tribute to the heart”. It is much easier said than done, to commit to exercising, I prefer to use the word movement now. But moving, exercising, whatever you wish, I will recommend a book for you. I listened to it on Audible. And I loved it so much. I bought a hard copy The 4 Pillar Plan by Dr. Rangan Chatterjee. It’s fabulous and he reads the book himself. So he gives us this incredibly simple framework for taking control of our health. And yeah, you guessed it, it’s divided into four pillars, diet, rest, sleep, and movement.

He talks about making small, easily achievable changes in each of these key areas. And then you can find and maintain good health and avoid illness. You don’t have to excel at any one pillar, what matters is balance across all of the things that you do. He talks so much common sense, he gives you some really good hints about building movement into your life without a great deal of fuss, not necessarily paying gym memberships, and doing tough workouts and becoming a marathon runner, though, if you wish to do that, that is fine.

There’s all sorts of little things that I have included in my life, for example, okay here’s one I didn’t think I would tell you about but I’m going to, when I dry my hair, I do squats. I’m just standing there drying my hair. So I may as well do squats, I make sure I do at least 20, 10 on one side, 10 on the other or more 15 or 20 on each side. Now it’s time that is wasted anyway, I’m just drying my hair, which does take a long time, because there’s a lot of it. So why not build in a little bit of exercise, I do some butt squeezes. I’m always trying to do things to strengthen my lower back. Anyway, I recommend the four pillar plan by Dr. Chatterjee.

And now let’s get into our episode with Beth Duhon.

Movement, is this about our movement?

Beth Duhon
It is about our movement.

Okay, go for it, what would you like to say about that?

Beth Duhon
I would like to say do as I say not as I do, because right now I’m not in a zone where I’m so good at it. Movement is a gift, and it’s not a burden. And somehow in our society, we have framed it like it’s a big hassle and a big to do and a big burden. And it’s not it. You know, when you move in your classroom with your students, it’s a joy, we get to move our body.

And it is it is a privilege, isn’t it? Yeah and it has become a bit of a thing in our society, isn’t it? You know, have you paid your gym membership? How often do you go? It should be just a pleasure.

Beth Duhon
My older brother is mentally handicapped, and a couple of years ago, he was injured with his hip and he became also physically handicapped and was in a wheelchair. Now, praise the good Lord, he is out. But I was so sad about him having an additional handicap and moving was such a delight for him. He liked to play basketball and he liked to hike the trails and everything. And thank goodness, a few Easters ago, I was literally able to play basketball with him and my other brother and it was just a treat. You know, there are people who don’t have that privilege, who aren’t able to move. So if we are able to do it, let’s do it.

Yes. And there are so so many advantages. It’s interesting that you call it movement because I have I’ve tried to switch mentally as well as actually using the word movement instead of exercise which is you just need to move. And I was a few years ago I was actually quite fit, one of your days says, it doesn’t have to be CrossFit to count. I was fairly fit going to some fairly heavy gym type things. I was actually very fit for my age, and things started falling apart. And anyway, and I stopped going to the gym, and I stopped being really fit. And I thought, No, this has got to be, I’ve got to move, I’ve got to move. I’m not going back to that. But I need to move.

For me the solution has been, at this stage, I do want to add a little bit more, but I walk every day with my puppy. So it’s been since before Easter last year. It’s been fairly constant every day. And I get up earlier, which is big for Debbie, those who know, Debbie, I do not like early, I get up earlier and walk with my dog everyday. So I have a minimum of a half hour walk every day. On the weekends. It’s more like 45 minutes an hour, and the difference it has made. Because now it’s just non negotiable. I just get up. And I walk. I’m very fortunate.

It’s my season of life, there’s just my husband and I and my puppy. So I don’t have to worry about getting kids lunches and what they’re doing while I go walking type thing. So I am fortunate, but it’s a non negotiable. It’s just, it’s automated. It’s I get up, I get my clothes on I go, end of story.

Beth Duhon
Well, good for you. And like I said that was without the dog. But that was my habit. And it checks so many boxes because you’re outside, you’re by yourself, you know, you’re getting the activity, it’s just part of your routine. Doing it first thing in the morning, you check it off. Like I said, even and I think the probably the moral of the story is some is better than none. Because I think a lot of times if it’s not in the gym, we don’t think it counts. Or if it if we’re not sweating profusely, we don’t think it counts.

And in all of these regards, I think that little inner perfection is just whispers in our ear that it’s not enough and it doesn’t count and you should and blah, blah, blah, well tell the sound to shut up because a walk is good. A walk is better than nothing. And you’re walking regularly and well. I’m sure your puppy loves it.

Oh, she does. She does. In fact, she hassles me to do it, which helps. And but all of the things physically it does. You know, like you said, it doesn’t have to be full on, get your heart rate over 150. And what you know, whatever. It’s pumping the blood around your body, it’s the being in the fresh air and the sunshine. Or even if it’s still dark in winter and it’s cold, you’re still outside seeing the trees and just mentally it makes the biggest difference.

Beth Duhon
And that matters. The other thing I like to do speaking of the walking, I like to combine it with a friend. Yeah. And that could be indoor, it can be outdoor, but that way, like I said, you’re really getting the triple whammy because you’re getting the social time, along with the outdoor time and the activity. And when I’m sharing with somebody those two miles fly by, when I’m by myself not so much. But having somebody else it really makes it go a lot faster. And it’s fun.

Yes, yes, I have a friend I walk with but we only tend to walk in the school holidays once or twice, but it still is better because if I was not walking with her, we would be sitting in a coffee shop, drinking coffee, eating pastries. So walking with them is better.

Beth Duhon
It is not worse.

It’s certainly not worse. So I really love that. I think it’s important that we move. And I’m finding too now I am getting a little older, that when I’m with the kids there is a temptation. And this is just something I’ve done that I don’t know if other people can associate, can what’s that word I want? It’s okay. It’s another part of getting older. It doesn’t matter.

This is what I do. So we’re playing we’re going to play a game we’re sitting there and I’m the kids get up and they start organising themselves. And I think I could just sit here while they do it. Or I could get up and move with them. And I make myself get up and move with them. I mean it’s only minor. But if I do that, I’m just finding as I am getting a bit older. I think I could just sit for a bit longer while they do this.

But no I make myself get up or I could just stay here and look at what they’re doing, they might be working on the floor, might be writing on whiteboards on the floor, writing out the rhythm of something. And I’m out the front, watching, sitting up there on my cute little stool, and then I think, no, Debbie, get up. Because you should be seeing what that person’s doing at the back anyway, get up and walk around. So I actually consciously tell myself, that by making myself move a little more in my lessons, all of that accumulates as well. And it’s those little bits mount up.

Beth Duhon
I will say, one of the perks of the job and sometimes we tend, especially depends who you hang out with, people will always settle down to the negative parts of the job, right? But one of the positive aspects of the job is we get to move. The other year, I was not teaching and so I was doing a desk job. And I loved it, and I loved the people. But I would make every excuse to move, I would be the first up to run and get a copy.

I would get you a coffee I would and I will look at my step count end of the day and be like, Are you kidding me? I moved 2000 steps. Yeah. And when you’re teaching, you just do that, getting into the building. So one of the perks of the job is we get to move? We don’t realise for a lot of people, that is not an option. They sit all day, and then they sit down on the way home. And that’s that.

Yes, I often think a desk job or when I’m on my holidays and a day where I do a fair bit of work for Crescendo, for my little business.

Beth Duhon
It’s not a little business. It is an awesome big business.

Thank you. It is an awesome business because I love it. But if I’m sitting here working on the computer and I get in the flow, you know, or I’m doing recordings or whatever. I think I have just been sitting for two hours. Ah, I can’t cope. So we are lucky and imagine the poor office job people that have spent their career sitting on their butt on the computer. We are really lucky that we get to move around.

Beth Duhon
Absolutely. Well, in my past life. I was a French horn lesson teacher, I don’t know if my bio referenced that or not. So I would always joke that my backside looked like a chair. Because I mean, I would literally sit in the chair for hours on end with the students and you know lesson teachers don’t really stand up. And you know, it’s not really a thing. You might stretch your legs every few lessons to get a cup of water and go to the restroom, but that was about it. So it really is the fact that we get to move. Like I said, it’s a blessing. We just need to treat it like that.

Yes, I hadn’t thought about instrumental teachers like that. Because I guess you can’t skip around in a circle playing your horn, can you?

Beth Duhon
You could but it might raise some eyebrows.

I tell you what, it might make some good YouTube clips. Beth’s skipping horn videos, okay.

Beth Duhon
Whatever gets the likes and clicks you got to do it Debbie.

Yeah that’s true. All right. I think that’s a great place to finish this episode. And if I can get you back one more time, Beth. We’re going to talk about the last little bit of your book. And we’ll make sure that in all of the show notes we put where people can get this book themselves.

Beth Duhon
I’d be delighted. Thank you. All right.

I will talk to you again soon. Bye.

Beth Duhon
Very good. Bye.


Thank you for joining me for this podcast. Don’t forget, you’ll find the show notes and transcript and all sorts of information on If you’ve enjoyed the podcast or found it valuable, you might like to rate it on your podcast player and leave a review. I’d really appreciate it if you did. All I can be as the best version of me. All you can do is be the best you. Until next time, bye.

Just for Laughs

As we know laughter relieve stress. Don’t lose sight of the funny side of life.

How do you kill a circus?

You go for the juggler.

Links Mentioned in the Episode:

📕 Happier Music Teacher by Beth Duhon

📘 The Four Pillar Plan: How to Relax, Eat, Move and Sleep Your Way to a Longer, Healthier Life by Rangan Chatterjee 

🎙️ Ep 83: Introduction to The Wellbeing Series with Beth Duhon

🎙️ Ep 84: The Wellbeing Series: Rest and Recharge

🎙️ Ep 85: The Wellbeing Series: The Commute

🎙️ Ep 86: The Wellbeing Series: Fuel Your Body

🎙️Ep 87: The Wellbeing Series: Vocal Health

Where to find me:

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