The first few weeks of term are all about engaging the students with their music and establishing great playing habits.
To me, this needs to involves a lot of fun!
Having fun creates a sense of relaxation, enjoyment and the propensity to play more….in other words, it improves our learning skills and quality of life.
Often, we play those fun, classic pieces we hear generation after generation during these first few weeks.
You may notice your children coming home with rather strange looking ‘music’….a series of numbers, shapes, colours and symbols- not the usual black lines and dots we associate with music.
Like to know the reasoning behind it?
Here are 5 quick points:
- Making music a joy. My musical colleague, Jodie and I often have a bit of giggle that at the very least, one of our main roles as music tutors is to ‘not put kids off of music’. We’ve seen and experienced so many adults who have avoided musical learning because of negative associations with lessons and how their musicality was spoken about by the adults in their lives. This truly saddens me, because I really believe we all have music inside of us and music lessons are simply helping us develop the skills required to express this music in a way which serves us. Ultimately, I’d love your child’s experience of music to be a true joy, so fun is a big part of our musical program.
- Having fun encourages ease, skill and practice. This is all about meaningfully engaging children in their craft. And, they have a chance to develop technical finger skills they wouldn’t normally have access to.
- Decoding a variety of written formats aids the development of decoding skills, such as reading (including musical reading), writing, maths and sequencing (in particular, noticing patterns).
- Some pieces which are fun to play are simply too difficult to read in the traditional format– creating simple code structures and bringing attention to note patterns makes these pieces accessible even to beginning students.
- Creating a variety of formats for learning provides access to music for all learners. Everyone learns differently…not everyone can easily understand traditional written music. It takes time, practice and patience. In the meantime, students need to feel successful in their endeavors. Learning ‘tricky pieces’, beyond their note reading ability, is one such way to help students feel successful and confident in their musical skills.
A quick note for parents of keyboard students…..your child may have come home with stickers to place on their keyboard- you may need to help your child place these correctly. There is a diagram on their music to help!