Practice philosophy and motivation

KINDERMUSIK FOR THE YOUNG CHILD, SEMESTER 2       Week 11 (Lesson 26) “Concept learning is a cyclical process. The continued use of the specific idea in varied settings will help the learning to gel and contribute to a breadth and depth of understanding.”  “Developing Music Concepts,” by Barbara J. Alvarez, p. 29, in Music in Prekindergarten: Planning and Teaching, Mary Palmer and Wendy L. Sims, editors. 

The children are becoming experts at recognizing the difference between staccato and legato sounds! They can move accordingly when hearing the change from staccato music to legato music; they can play both types of sounds on their glockenspiels; and they can sing both staccato and legato.   Listen to music together this week and invite your child to identify different articulation techniques—and other aspects of the music—that he hears.  Glocks

Hopefully the students are enjoying playing Mouse Mousie on the glockenspiel at home.  Did the mouse stickers work well for your family?  Has your child earned the last sticker by playing the song well on the glockenspiel yet?  Each child is motivated by different things.  They might like getting the sticker for each practice, or they might like getting a sticker on their glockenspiel once they can play it well (kind of like the football players helmet stickers).  On the other hand, stickers may not be what motivates your child.   

When my son was 8 years old son in guitar lessons, he liked to play the songs he knows, but hated to work on new songs.  His comment, “I’m not good at it.”  (I’m thinking, “Well, duh.  That’s what practice is for.”)  So I had to sit down with him, work through reading the notes and the rhythms, play it for him a few times so he can hear it, and generally devote a portion of individual “mom love” for the one or two practices.  Then he did very well to process the song, getting better at each practice after that.   Now that my son is 11 years old, it works best for me to stay OUT of his practice sessions because I “butt in too much”, and he is more motivated to practice without me.  Although, he does like to have an audience with mom about once a week where he can “showcase his repertoire”– as long I as I follow up with positive comments concerning improvements etc.  Beethoven’s father made him practice more than 5 hours each day, even as young as 5 years old, and would wake him up in the middle of the night to get in more practice time.  He was determined that Ludwig would become a musical prodigy like Mozart.  Despite the excessive pressure and paternal abuse heaped upon young Beethoven, he loved music and it became his life.   I just can’t believe some parents !!!  That is definitely not what we are looking for – it is so much more important for them to simply enjoy what they are willing to do musically.  Challenge a little bit, esp. when you see a spark of interest, but more importantly than skills, what we are generating at this particular age is a LOVE of music. I’ll be looking for the Mouse Sticker on their glockenspiel so I can really praise them and invite them to play it for me if they want to. 


One Response

  1. Excellant article. Music is a cure for for depression, alsheimers and many other diseases.In the storm of life we struggle through myriads of stimuli of pressure, stress, and muti-problems that seek for a solution and answer. We are so suppressed by the routine of this every life style that most of us seem helpless. However, if we look closely to ancient techniques we shall discover the magnificent way to understand and realize the ones around us and mostly ourselves. If only we could stop for a moment and allow this to happen. May all beings be happy (Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu)

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