My son has signed up to play cello in orchestra. He is in 4th grade when this is offered through school. He is the first musician in our family. He is challenging himself and I cannot be more proud of him despite my complete lack of musical knowledge.
The concept is simple. He had three instruments to choose from. He has two set practice times. He has three performances. The framework is laid out, it is simple and to the point. It is not some elaborate scheme that confuses him and creates a sense of being overwhelmed which happens to him often.
“When you learn a new skill, you learn new patterns. And then you start seeing these patterns interwoven into the familiar world. The impenetrable becomes less so. Things you always knew, you now know better.”
Phil Libin, INC. magazine, October Issue 2013
This quote resonates with me on many levels. We cannot forget that as we continue to grow as educators our students are coming in at the same baseline year in and year out. Our job is to refine our skills in a way that help more students learn new skills more frequently and with more precision. Part of our own professional learning is crafting the skills we possess to find out what works and what does not so the next generation of students can benefit from our learning.
As we strive to increase achievement, deeper learning, high order project based learning, literacy rates, STEM, and any other buzz word you want to throw into the mix, don’t forget about simplicity. We don’t have to overcomplicate things. Some things in education are made out to be some complex nightmare when we could just strip things down to the barebones and be just as successful. In the end we have to ignite passion for learning and help students find a personal interest to what we are teaching to allow the doors to open.
We will keep it simple with Aiden when it comes to his music……..
because we have to due to the fact this his parents are about as tone deaf and music illiterate as you can imagine.