Recently Troy’s music classes have been centered around two major musical concepts: tone and rhythm. Playful and fun as these classes are, they are focused on quite serious stuff.
Honestly, as a teacher, I can’t but mentally applaud to Troy’s teacher for his outstanding methodology and ability to keep his instruction accessible, entertaining, multi-level and, most importantly, individualized. In the midst of toddlers with sippy cups and their parents with ambitions and agendas, every child gets his or her own musical challenges to handle.
How does Mr. Eric get to do it all in only half an hour?
I have no idea.
On top of that, he monitors his students’ musical development and tells parents individually what stage their child is at, thus instructing us what to focus on and warning us about possible mistakes that the child may make unless directed otherwise.
It goes without saying that with this serious learning approach in place, a praise from this teacher is worth a million. On Saturday Troy received a major musical praise for his singing, having made me oh, so proud!Having listened to Troy singing one of the songs together with him, Mr. Eric said “Very good harmony, Troy!”
Before it was “Good singing, Troy! or “That was a good one”, which honestly was great – no complaints about it. But good harmony… that sounds impressive, does it not?
On our way home Troy kept asking what harmony was and I had to give him a good and simple explanation to make sure he understood what exactly he had been good at ( to be able to learn better a student always has to know exactly what he has been criticized and praised for).
Meanwhile, at home we are doing some decent tonal work, trying to make good harmony a sweatless routine, rather than a lucky coincidence. Of course, Troy has no idea he is doing any work. He is just having a ball singing, chanting, telling funny stories and playing the piano together with mama. There will be time when work will be work, but at this point, work is a game. He needs no encouragement in that area. Neither do I, but he likes to encourage me anyway: “Mama, sit at the piano. Put your foot on the pedal. You play – I sing.”