We Play Music: Communicating fun in lessons
There are moments that happen in lessons and lessons which I teach to many Students. I Blog as often as I can and my Blog Posts are short, so that I can quickly share some of the Teaching which comes up in lessons.
My specialism is Student/Teacher communication and today’s Blog is on key aspect of communication: understand the meaning of a word. All to often, communication breaks down because a word is used and the other person responds to what they think the word means. This causes confusion and defenses go up. Consider the following:
My Birthday is coming up and my wife said she wanted to get me a gift. I know my wife speaks Norwegian fluently and I also know that the Norwegian word “Gift” means “Poison”, so I am now defensive and I am not looking forward to my Birthday. I’m only joking, but there is an interesting point here. Students become defensive when Teachers say “Play”.
I cannot change the language of Music, but I work hard, with Students and Parents, to communicate that Play is:
– a reward after hard work
– relaxing and refreshing
– a place of discovery and adventure
Play is a gift.
Play does not mean:
– An opportunity for criticism
– The moment that the Student gets caught for not working hard enough.
I wonder where Students learn that “Play” means the latter, rather than the former. I see their defensiveness and work with them to alter their understanding of the word – it was great to see that break-through with a particular Student this week – and unleash their learning.
I teach that “We play Music”:
“We” – support and encouragement comes from Teachers, Family and Fellow Musicians.
“Play” – Music is rewarding, relaxing and a place of discovery and adventure.
“Music” – How we communicate.