Michelle Obama: Failure and rejection are a part of success

October 14, 2015 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Michelle Obama told students invited to the White House Wednesday that failure and rejection are part of the steps toward achieving success.

“Failure is a part of that whole process,” Mrs. Obama said. “You just learn to pick yourself up. And the quicker and more resilient you become, the better you are.”

Mrs. Obama welcomed the local students as part of a music workshop with Smokey Robinson, Esperanza Spalding, MC Lyte, Trombone Shorty and Keb’ Mo’.

The students from middle schools in Manassas, Virginia; Herndon, Virginia; and Landover, Maryland, learned to rhyme, produce and write songs during the workshop titled “A Celebration of Song.” They broke out into five groups to craft and perform original work with their celebrity mentor at the conclusion of the lesson. They were also treated to an impromptu performance by Spalding, Trombone Shorty and Keb’ Mo’.


Before the breakout session, Mrs. Obama encouraged the students to work hard and practice their craft — whether writing or mathematics.

“It’s really important that you all experience this stuff here in this house,” she said. “You all are just as important as those dignitaries that we invite here.”

“Sometimes it takes sitting in this room to make you start dreaming about all that you can be,” she added.

The entertainers will perform during an evening concert as part of the “In Performance at the White House” series. The program is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities Act. It will also include performances by Usher, James Taylor, Queen Latifah, Buddy Guy, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell and remarks from Carol Burnett.

The concert will broadcast on PBS stations in January.