Saturday, February 19, 2005

High Notes

How can you find a way to get music into your children's lives? You can find the answer to this question in the article called "High Notes: The Best Ways to Get Music Into Your Child's Life," by an unknown author, the date this article was made, was November 1998. This article basically talks about how some parents want their children to have a lot of knowledge in music, or they want them to play instruments that are very hard to learn, so they keep on pressuring the poor kids. The author of the article gives a variety of better choices to make the parents understand the different ways to help their children to get into music without making the kids miserable by learning something so complicated.

He says that many children are being taught to play the piano, or the violin or some other hard instruments, before they even know how to tie their shoelaces. He says that this is bad because the kids don't have the ear/eye/body coordination necessary to play an instrument like any of these, it would probably be better to start teaching them until they're eight or nine years old.

The author talks about some different kinds of techniques that we can use to help the kids. One of them is the Suzuki method, which has been a very successful one at teaching musical instruments to children as young as three, this is because they teach in a way an infant learns, so children are not taught to read music until much later. Another way was the one that Zoltan Kodoly, a composer and music educator said that we could use; he said that the best instrument we all carry is our voice.

The Kindermusik program is another like Kodoly, in which the kids learn to make music, cover musical instruments, rhythm and spontaneous dancing as well as singing. Sounds fun, doesn't it?
The author mentioned a philosopher named Rudolf Steiner, he was against of listening to recorded music, insted he urged the parents, especially mothers to sing to their children and make music together.
Emile Dalcroze was a pioneer trying to simulate the creativity musicality of children. His method called Eurythmics, emphasizes a whole-body approach to music primarly through rhythm.

The last of these educators is Carl Orff, adapted some Dalcrozes ideas. His method encourages improvisation on basic instruments such as xylophones. He says that kids don't need to have sophisticated techniques to learn these instruments, the only thing they need to have is curiosity about sounds.

In this article the author uses rhetorical devices such as alliteration in the words trombone and tuba, experts and express, and age-appropriate, for example. He also uses allusion when he mentions the music educators and the philosopher. The last device he used was the analogy, or the simile that he made with music becoming an extension of how a child plays everyday.

I think this is a very good article that can help many parents to make a better decision on their children's music education. Kids should not be worried about learning how to play an instrument in a highly structured, disciplined way, like the author said. I totally agree with him. I also think that the methods he presented are very well described to the readers.