Vanessa has been attending music classes of various sorts since she has been quite little. There has been a bunch of research showing that music is important in early childhood development. Children learn in many ways, and we don’t doubt the benefits of music. These various classes also give them opportunities to play, learn and interact with other children.
One of Vanessa’s current classes involves playing the glockenspiel. It’s a nice sounding percussion instrument much like the xylophone. I’ve been “tasked” to do practice and revision with her. I’m learning, in the process, that teaching music can be quite exasperating. Particularly when, I think, she might not be the most musically inclined.
Yeah, it is really frustrating when she hardly keeps rhythm properly. I have been musically trained. I don’t know if that may have upped my expectations. There are, to me, simple things like keeping beat, striking the keys correctly, etc. When Vanessa doesn’t get something right, I get annoyed, and I think it also frustrates her. So I’ve got to be careful to not over-push, lest she gets discouraged.
(There’s also one key on her glockenspiel that sounds slightly off-key. It drives me nuts too.)
I don’t know if the things I assume to be very basic are, in fact, not so trivial to a 5 year old. Or, the way I see it, she’s just not very focused, musically. I suppose I should have a little patience. I’ve asked her if she wants to continue the class, and she said yes. But then again, I’m not sure if she really likes playing music, or it’s simply going to the class that she likes.
Or, maybe, it is about the teacher that she likes. I’m quite sure that for both this music class (where she’s learning the glockenspiel) and her ballet class, the teacher has something to do with her enjoying the class. It’s sometimes difficult to get at the truth. The important thing is that she’s enjoying the class, right?
So, any how, it has been a little challenging for me to get Vanessa to play the glockenspiel correctly. Even for just four bars of music. Perhaps it’s the teaching technique that needs improvement. Hopefully we work out our teaching techniques, otherwise we’ll be in for so much more challenges when she goes into primary school in less than two years’ time.