The more I work as a musician in the modern world, the more I begin to ponder this question as an educator. What is music? What is this thing that we teach?
Take a moment. How can you truly be an anti-racist music educator? Nate Holder knows more about it than me! Read him today instead.
Perfectionism is the well-worn path of a lot of musicians. But it is not what we should be passing on to our students.
Most of you will know EXACTLY what I am referencing here.
If you were trained as a musician in the last 30 years, then this is most likely how you learned to read music.
If you are a musician, trained recently, and don’t know what I’m talking about, then I have to say that I am glad for you. Because this is not how to learn, or to teach, reading music.
So you want to include games in your music lessons, but don’t know where to start? I’m certain that all music teachers have felt the same at some point or another. The biggest worry that we all have is that we play games that are not connected to learning, that we are wasting precious minutes just to make sure we are the ‘fun’ music teacher. We really are skilled at overthinking music teaching. The problem often lies (as it usually does) in not planning effectively. Worried that a student is looking bored, you jump in and fix the boredom with a quick movement game. Concerned that a student is not listening to you, you make up a game to incorporate and alter their misbehaviour. Over time, this leads to lots of music games being incorporated (which can seem fantastic) but not much time spent at the instrument, or focusing on any particular skill. The only question that you need to ask yourself to solve this problem is this: “What skill do I want my student …