Wisdom From J.R. Ewing of the TV Series, Dallas


“Never pass up a good chance to shut up.”


Those are the words I heard J.R. Ewing say as I watched the TV series Dallas a few days ago in an episode from this past season. You just never know when you are going to hear a bit of wisdom like that! It was such an unexpected comment – he was speaking to his son about business negotiations – that I had to rewind it just to hear it again!

Of course I relate most things to music, music teaching, and/or parenting. I think the statement applies to all three, actually. Great musicians know that there is much beauty in well placed silence. Great music teachers know that deliberate moments of silence allow students time to understand more deeply, to explore, and to create. These same moments of silence are what give life to music and allow the notes to breathe. Great parents know that when we are silent we can hear our children speak – not merely by their words, but by their actions and by the way they respond to various situations.

So, kudos to the writer or writers responsible for this magnificent line! And now here is my chance to shut up.


4 thoughts on “Wisdom From J.R. Ewing of the TV Series, Dallas

  1. rhythmandglues says:

    Love it! I was just talking to my students about this yesterday. I had a group of third graders singing a song on solfege, and I kept jumping in to “help” them. But they didn’t need my help! I told the class that I was so sorry for trying to take their turn and that I needed to just be quiet and let them shine. One of the kids said, “Yeah. We can do this if you will just let us.” We had a good laugh, and I was reminded to just shut up sometimes! 🙂


    • fame1444 says:

      I have to admit I’ve been there too – lots of times. Thanks for sharing the powerful phrase – “I’m sorry for trying to take (your) turn” I’m adding that to my arsenal of must use teaching phrases!


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