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“It is more important to pave the way for children to want to know, than to put them on a diet of facts they are not ready to assimilate”
Rachel Carson (The Sense of Wonder)
When many of us were growing up, education tended to revolve around memorization and recitation of facts. Unfortunately, this approach did not always pave the way to want to know more, or cross the bridge from knowing a few facts to grasping the meaning of the larger picture.
Education has changed a lot in the last 20 years. Phrases such as “wholistic learning”, and “integrated curriculi” are found in today’s teaching programs. Our children are developing their “critical thinking skills” and their “higher-level problem-solving skills”. Parents and educators alike are realizing how music, stories and field trips can teach us in ways that rote memorization does not. As a Music Teacher for 20 years (and a music-maker for much longer!) I am convinced of the importance of music in our lives. It reaches further into our culture and society than we realize:
Music not only has the power to stimulate the mind, enrich the heart and soothe the soul, it can help children to think more creatively, develop craftmanship and discipline, and learn the value of excellence. Classical music in particular has been shown to enhance intellect and stimulate development:
Small children have an amazing curiosity. They need to be given opportunities to wonder, to experiment, to discover, to marvel. With just a little help from a teacher, they should find immense satisfaction, pride and growth when they investigate their questions and find their own answers.
One of my favourite sayings:
Tell me . . . . I forget
Show me . . . . I remember
Involve me . . . . I understand!
says this in a nutshell. I want my students to have a whole body, whole mind experience every lesson. I want them to learn by their involvement with good quality Classical music.
I want learning music to be a joyous experience that students and teacher enjoy together; all lessons are designed so we work together for a common goal, the games I use are cooperative rather than competitive, performances are applauded, we have FUN!
I want to teach music in such a way that every student learns and learns well. I will always strive to find the key to unlock a student’s ability. This is the role of the music teacher. To improvise and create situations where the student can succeed. There’s much to be explored and learned. If given the right environment for learning, students will demonstrate great ability and intelligence.