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Reflecting on the Past Year in Music Class

The Musikgarten way of reaching children can require a change of mindset.  Often as parents and teachers we have expectations of how things will look or be, often without even realizing it.   Sometimes we even do a little comparison and feel bad when our child’s music progress doesn’t look like someone else’s child.  

The great thing is, we can free ourselves of these expectations and choose gratitude.  Gratefully, all children are not alike and do not learn in the same way, or at the same pace.  

The greatest challenge is reaching every child in every lesson.  By presenting and exploring ideas in a safe, no-pressure, positive and loving environment through listening, movement, vocalization, playing of instruments, etc., the teacher can facilitate the learning of every child.  The child is nurtured in their learning and can grow and develop at their own pace.  This will mean that all children will not meet certain criteria by a certain date, and that is okay.

Here are a few thoughts you might ponder as you think over your child’s growth in music this past year:

  • Did you and your child share positive experiences in music this year?  

  • If you did, you have bonded musically!

  • Has your child’s awareness, curiosity, and respect for the world around them been enhanced?  

  • If so, then your child is already learning compassion!

  • Has your child’s ability to listen longer increased?  

  • If so, they are on their way to having great focusing skills!

  • Is your child more aware of the beat than they were in September?  

  • If they do, they are headed toward true music literacy!

  • Can your child sing more tunefully than they could at the first of the year?  

  • If so, they are learning to control their primary musical instrument - their voice!

  • Is your child using their own imagination and creativity more now than they were 9 months ago?  Do they generate more ideas in play at home and even in music class?  

  • If so, then your child is growing in confidence and problem solving!  

  • Does music evoke a movement response in your child?  

  • If so, then they are internalizing what they have learned through experience!

  • Is your child becoming more comfortable with expressing himself through activities learned in class?

  • If so, then they are learning that music is a positive outlet they can use to process emotion!

  • Can your child focus longer while playing, listening, sitting or being read to?  

  • If they can, then all the starting and stopping in music class is aiding the child in developing inner speech and impulse control!

Keep in mind that mastery of reading and writing music, knowing names of notes and rhythms, and developing skills for consistently correct responses evolve over time.  Now is the time for “filling the storehouse,” and building the foundation.  The more they experience in music class, the easier and more joyful their later music-making will be. 

We are planting seeds.  The most important time in the process is now.  All seeds do not grow at the same rate.  All seeds will not produce fruit the first year.  All seeds do not turn out to be the same plant.  Nevertheless, all seeds need nurturing, faith and patience to flourish!

-Nan Croney

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