A Single Note

Posted on February 25, 2012 5:18 pm under Family

My granddaughter began homeschooling in second grade, but this year she became a virtual public school student through the K12 program. Some of the administrative pieces have been annoying, but with one exception, the curriculum is awesome. The exception is the music curriculum, which seems determined to destroy the student’s love of music. The lessons feature incessantly repeated exercises and an instructor, whose voice makes nails on a chalkboard seem soothing. We all breathe a sigh of relief when a lesson ends.

I’m sure that the curriculum is trying to teach theory. It would do far better to focus on music appreciation. Foster a love of music and theory will come in time. I learned to play the piano in my youth and my teacher never spent a lot of time talking about theory. I learned by playing and listening. I practiced because I enjoyed it. I doubt I would have stuck with the lessons, if their focus had been theory.

If you want to help your child develop an appreciation of music, focus on musical activities that they enjoy. Whether they favor the piano, guitar or drums, let the choice be theirs. Find a teacher who makes lessons pleasurable. There’s no guarantee that your child will be the next André Previn or B.B. King, but they are more likely to develop an appreciation for music that will last a lifetime. A single note is worth a thousand words.

2 Responses to “A Single Note”

  1. Kay L. Davies Says:

    I always loved the fact that my parents raised us to love music, not by drilling anything into us, but by saying, “Listen to this. I love this one.”
    My sister and I tried but failed to learn musical instruments, but both of our brothers can sing. Nevertheless, we all learned to appreciate music, and not because of anything they taught at school.

  2. Jim Says:

    Music theory is a good class, GMa. :) Mrs. Jim know a lot of the classical songs and the old composers still from hers.

    I really don’t think that much music is taught in the schools unless they are structured instrument lessons. And around here the K-12 aren’t doing that.

    All five of our kids had private piano lessons. One has gone on into music as a hobby career. She has no other job except to write and play music.

    Another is a drummer in a garage band that is actually getting some paid gigs. His twin brother bought a new car and a piano the week that he graduated from high schoo.

    The other two play the I-pod.
    Oh yes, my fingers slipped on my other comment. They typed ‘hear’ instead of ‘here’. Sorry.