Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Teachers hear music, yet Students listen for, "That's correct": encouraging Student's creativity.

Image result for painting and music

Aged 8,  I was taken to the Ballet, because my Mum was a Dancer.  The front row seats were meant to help me see the Dancers, but the Pit was all I saw.  The Bassist played the whole concert right at me.  This inspired me to become a Bassist, but seeing the whole orchestra, inspired me to become a Multi-Instrumentalist.

As a Teacher I seek to motivate, then educate. 

Locally, we have a Science Exhibition and, as a child, I spent my time at playing with the exhibit where differing lengths of tube could be struck, to explore the nature of sound.  There were other exhibits, but I was transfixed.  I play with sound.  I know now that it was the Father of Galileo Galilei who - employing Pythagorean Mathematics - explained the nature of Pitch.  That knowledge does not detract from the fact that I play with sound.  We should all play with sound.

Motivation in learning has a great deal to do with feedback.  Child will freely paint a picture and are encouraged to do so, from a young age.  Few children Compose Music.

A painting gives instant feedback.  The Artist can instantly see what they have created and Parents willingly mount the painting on the fridge door, with no assumption that it should be "perfect" - although I teach that "perfect" has more to do with wholeness than rightness.   Could the same be said for the Composition of Music?  Do we get the same feedback?

When we paint, we see what we have created.  In Music, we are often too close to the Performance, to be able to hear what the audience hears.

  Teachers hear Music and Students listen for, "that's correct".

I encourage Students to record themselves.  Done in the correct spirit, this is very rewarding.  The Student hears their creative output as the audience does.  They hear the Music, rather than focusing on the notes.

Zoltan Kodaly said that Musical training should start 9 months before the Student is born.  When Parents give it a go, along with their Children, Music becomes a family activity where creativity is valued and we are all free to make mistakes.  In the Pram; Parents encourage Children to, 

"Look at the red rattle!"

Teaching our Children colours is important, but so is teaching the nature of sound.  "Look at.." is a phrase common to the visual Arts, "...the red..." is similarly linked to the visual Arts, "...rattle!" is a Musical sound.  I teach this in lessons, but if I could encourage Parents in one way, it would be to make, "Listen to this!  It rattles", a family phrase.

When Parents and Children play with sound, share it and praise each other for their creative output, motivation increases and may one day the knowledge the Galileo Galilei's Father explains the nature of sound, based on Pythagorean Mathematics might be knowledge which the Student chooses to learn, based on a lifetime of fun and exploration of sound. 

Robin's Experience and Style

Robin Thornton - Teacher At a young age, I decided that I wanted to be a Musician. I did not believe that I could support...