I was thinking the other day….. and this was how my thinking went.
As a child, you often have 6 or 7 ‘grade’ teachers in your primary schooling life. Some you love, some not so much. And maybe one of them is a bit not-so-inspiring when it comes to something like maths. And so, for that year, maths doesn’t really turn you on much. But then the next year, you might get a teacher who is a great maths teacher, and so you get all inspired again. I’m sure you can all relate to this – because a good teacher can inspire you, whatever your ability.
But often, in primary schools, there’s one music teacher. (And one art teacher too.) And so if you are grumpy, or not-inspiring, kids disengage from the subject. And this is for their whole primary school life, which would then often translate into their high school life, and possibly even longer – for their whole life.
“I don’t like music” a lot of grown-ups tell me. And then they go on to talk about the music teachers that made them not sing in choir, or hit them with rulers in a piano lesson, or shouted at them in class.
My thinking continued….. In many of the lives of the little people I see, I am the music person. That’s it. My job is to make them like music, in some way. Because most people do, you know. They like to drum, or play, or sing, if it’s presented in the right way. I can count on one hand the number of children I see amongst the nearly 600 kids I see regularly who don’t engage in music lessons.
It’s my job to infect them to be open to music. To allow music to flow into them. To make them smile. Or give them solace. Or happiness. It’s important. And if you think about it too much, a bit daunting. So now I’ve told you my thinking, I’m going to stop thinking it. But it’s so important, you know.