During my music teaching career, it was my privilege to work with a complete cross-section of the populace.
I worked from the ritziest suburbs in their gated communities to middle class settings with dual working parents to schools in the poorest communities.
What I delighted in was the fact that my subject, music, allowed everyone to come aboard to take the next step over and over again to a higher level.
Since the combination of coordination, visual training, and ear training all work together in reading and playing music, I knew that I was creating a platform for cognitive and artistic success.
Over and over again, as I would see the next child catch on, I knew that child would be be able to contribute to the common good.
In wealthy areas, the child would be given private lessons, and would participate in a school orchestra, band or choir.
In middle class areas, the child would often be given private lessons and be able to continue throughout her school career in a large ensemble as well. Perhaps the interest would be so energized as to major in music and become a professional player and/or music teacher.
In poor areas, the child would have a skill which could elevate him/her through playing in a large ensemble. Depending on the motivation, s/he too, could advance into a performance and/or teaching career.
Because the child was gaining a cognitive skill through music, their ability to make progress in language was being enhanced. Auditory discrimination between pitch nuances helps language development.
The ability to keep a steady beat and to fit their part in a complex musical event requires more neural connections and enhances word-reading ability.
Demanding small motor coordination in precise timing and accurate pitch is only possible with dedicated self-motivation.
I saw all these things happening, and I could feel the excitement and commitment increase as each child gained confidence and competence.
In my classes, I developed new materials if a child was having difficulty catching on. I made sure each child could continuing taking the next step.
I created ways for students to work together in small groups and large groups.
I watched the joy, commitment and consistent work ethic to create something of their own.
Every child who came through my early childhood music program was empowered to become part of the greater good regardless of where they started out.
It is worth doing something which touches every child so completely.
Because of my experiences, I know that there are many ways to increase the ability for one more person to participate in the common good, over and over again.
© 2018 Kathryn Hardage