Friday, November 16, 2007

WAY TO LISTEN!

An amazing thing happened in one of my classes of K-4 students yesterday. We are working on our Christmas programs now, and the class was going to learn a new song. I had my pianist play it for them on the piano (what else would a pianist play on?). They were all on good behavior yesterday due to my promise of Skittles if they did well. They listened intently as she played...once just the melody, then with accompaniment. It had a constant rolling beat in the bass, and a sweet, little melody. When she finished, little Benjamin raised his hand. "Yes, Benjamin", I said. "That music sounded just like a river!", he commented. I had her play it again, and sure enough...I could imagine a river.

This brought joy to a music teacher's heart. (Right, Jean?) I think music is such an important part of life, and is one of God's greatest gifts to us. My goal as a preschool music teacher is to introduce different types of music and teach the children to 'learn to listen' to what they are hearing. All the other music basics and fundamentals will come later. I am trying to lay a foundation for another teacher to build on in later years. So, when Benjamin "got it"....I had one of those "YES!" moments. Makes an old teacher feel quite proud.

As a follow up to his statement...I decided to take advantage of that "teachable moment." I went on to explain how music can make us feel many different ways. Sometimes it makes us feel like dancing, or singing. Sometimes it makes us feel sad, sometimes it sounds like a party. Sometimes it makes us feel like going to sleep. It can also help us praise God, and worship Him.

So, I encourage you to expose your child to different kinds of music and talk about how it makes them feel. This is the time of their lives when there is such rapid brain development, and learning to appreciate music has been proven to be a big factor in how well kids do academically in later years. Provide them with good music to listen to, and encourage them as they develop favorites. Grandparents, you can do this as well. The love and appreciation of music can create a very special bond. This is a special connection you could enjoy for many years.

4 comments:

Musicaljean said...

Right on, Tonja! Also, many studies show that children who learn to play a musical instrument do better in school. Playing an instrument uses different parts of the brain simultaneously, and it is good "exercise".

justabeachkat said...

Ah, one of those moments when you know you're in the right place at the right time.

Hugs!
Kat

Anonymous said...

I am Benjamin's mom. I am thrilled that he is listening, truly listening. That warms my heart too. You do a terric job with the children. Thank you for teaching and modeling for him a love of this beautiful art. It is my prayer that he will continue to have a passion for music and to look beyond the "notes" in life and hear the river.
Blessings!
Thanks for giving so much to our kids!

Anonymous said...

Tonja,
Thank you for you influence in teaching our grandson Benjamin. To help him hear and express thoughts and feelings in music is a blessing! It is great to have you share your talents with others.
Mary Sue McClurkin