I survived! Music Camp is over and I'm back to the regular routine of writing. As I begin my recovery from the past 14 days, my thoughts are revisiting the experience and I am reminded of a few things about children and their abilities. While these concepts are true about music in the church, I believe the application reaches into our private studios and music classrooms.
- Children are sponges! Kids absorb new material quickly and thoroughly. This fact becomes painfully obvious when it becomes necessary to reteach due to a misconception or poor planning. Once a child "learns" material, it is often extremely difficult to unlearn.
- Instruct in multiple learning styles for maximum retention! As a church musician, my primary goal for Music Camp was to instill Biblical truths into the hearts of children while teaching them some introductory musical concepts. The primary method of instruction was singing. By adding visual cues, the learning was further enhanced. Movement activated the kinesthetic learning style while including drama appealed to the creative side of the child. By gradually adding new dimensions of instruction, the child was repeatedly instructed in the basic truth.
- Repetition is key! Although adults often become frustrated with repeated presentations of material, children seem to thrive on it! While the repeated lesson may be identical, the child's interaction with the material is not. Each return to familiar material allows the child to explore the concept at a higher intellectual level. This, in turn, allows for further discovery and questioning.
- Children can achieve! Let this be a constant reminder to you. Children can perform at high levels of excellence, so set the bar high, give them the necessary tools and support to succeed, and watch them soar!
Now, it's time to crawl back into my cave and recover a bit more; it's almost time to start planning for my next musical adventure with the children of my congregation.