If you have ever been to Music Lessons, you will have heard the question, “Can you play this?” How does that phrase make you feel? It should make you feel playful and keen do discover. That is why We Play Music.
Around Christmas time, I reminded my Students what the term “Play” means. I means to do something fun and develop it every time we play.
All too often, when Music Teachers ask, “Can you play this?” the Student becomes nervous. We don’t get nervous when asked, “Shall we play together?” – Sports, Crafting or Parlour Games. We play together, it is fun and as we become more confident, we develop how we play. This is also what is behind the question, “Can you play this?” Teacher’s must choose our words wisely and phrases like, “Let’s play this together”, “Shall we play this together?”, provide a better environment for the Student. They are just different ways of phrasing the Philosophy, “We Play Music”.
We Play Music is a Philosophy which I began around 2006. In lessons, we play together: exploring the music and developing our approach. Confidence followed by development breeds confidence in development.
When asked, “What are you looking for, for Christmas?” one of my Students answered with a sentence which will always stick with me, “I want a race car track. I’ll make it the best one ever!” What is implied in their response is the heart of “play”.
“I want a race car track, I’ll make it the best one ever!” On Christmas morning, the child will have played with a family member, helping make the track. Reading the instructions and making the track. Once the track is made, it is “modded” – to use one of my son’s words. The track is developed to the child’s preferences. The same story could be told of Music. We Play Music, often with the help of Teacher’s and Family Members. Reading the instructions and making Music. Once the Music is made it is, “modded” or “Interpreted” – to use one word used by Musicians.
The Philosophy, “We Play Music” underpins all that I do and Teach. Make Music because it is fun, gain confidence and develop it each time we play.