Praise For Doing…Nothing

13 Jan

Two new families joined my class this morning, and I let them know the usual stuff about a Music Together class — that we don’t expect the children to do music the grown-up way; that it’s perfectly OK for their kids to move around the room constantly, sit quietly the entire class, or anything in between; that it’s far more important that they, the grown-ups, be musical. To their credit, those parents did…nothing!

OK, I exaggerate. More accurately, the parents were able to let their children experience the class in their child-way, and they did nothing to interrupt either child’s process. But in no way can I describe their participation in the class as “doing nothing” — they sang, danced, shook eggs, waved scarves, and dinged bells right along with me. And that combination of nothing-and-everything will serve their children well.

When we just let our children BE in a musical setting, while we model full-on music-making, we create a beautiful environment that honors our children’s developmental process and lets them know that being musical is so very important. Eventually, the children who first came to my class this morning will start to make music the grown-up way, because they’ve seen their parents do it (so they’ll want to grow in that way, too) and because their parents let them develop and evolve in their own way, at their own pace.

So, here’s praise to all the grown-ups who do nothing — and everything — all at the same time.

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