Monday, February 23, 2015

A Musical Child's Foundation

David's cello teacher is fantastic.  Barb encompasses many ways I would like to be as a teacher.  One of her best attributes is her ability to analyze how her teaching has worked, how to critically evaluate the results of her method, and how to design and execute a plan to best educate any child as a musician.  Not only that, but she is great with David. He started to read bass clef music today after a few months of flash cards.  Traditional music teachers often argue that Suzuki students cannot read music. Since I started 400+ instrumental music students in this traditional way and I am now intrigued with these different strategies.   

Bottom line without a lot of depth: As parents, we should be playing music for our children all the time.  Classical in the background and Suzuki CDs for their instrument as a habit.  The more they listen, the more they feel and internalize.  Then, whatever level they are playing at, they are able to feel the music and have vision for the end result because they have already internalized it.  Just as we have internalized our native language, we have been hearing it executed accurately since birth, and once we began to talk, we already know what our speaking voice should sound like.  

What do I do in our home?
I usually have WRTI on in the background.  It is a good station because the news comes on every hour, classical music is played 6am-6pm and jazz from 6pm on.  Just as the day's hectic parts wind down to dinner, jazz kicks up the atmosphere to a fun level.  I believe I started this habit when Naomi was a baby.  I doubt that any child with experiences like this will grow to be tone-deaf adults.  David has been listening to the viola Suzuki CD for two years before starting cello (because we listened when Naomi started), and has an incredible sense of pitch and can sing through all of book 1 with silly antics and crazy voices.  Naomi learned to sing in tune within a year of playing viola.

We have a very basic morning routine. Kids: Wake up, get dressed, and play an instrument. Their little brains get moving from the get go and they have ownership over their independence.  The worst is waking up and not knowing what you are supposed to do next, so this just gives a little plan and gets their brains moving.  Not to mention, live music and applause in the morning brightens up the whole house.