“Music was my first love, and it will be my last…..”
Me too, Jon Miles!
And yet so many children these days aren’t getting the chances they deserve to experience music as part of their school education. I fondly remember my first piano lesson at the age of 5, I had begged for ages and I was lucky enough to be born to a musical father, so I was encouraged and we used to jam when I got older.
Music lessons at school were a chance to create something real and immediate with my classmates, sitting on benches, each given an instrument to handle and control. A drum, the glockenspiel or if my luck was out, the triangle. We all made our contribution and it really made us work together as a team to make amazing sounds.
Music education in our schools is on its knees. Specialist teachers have dropped off the end of squeezed school budgets and now teaching music has been left up to our already stretched teachers, who are expected to challenge and enthuse children about music, whether they are ‘musical’ or not, but teaching without passion is pointless.
But music is a basic human right and it has been used for centuries to teach our kids everything from body parts to counting. For most of us, it taps into our inner selves more than fractions and long division ever will. Music spans generations, continents and class divides. It evokes feelings and memories and it can help children to concentrate, listen and work together. Everybody may be playing different instrumetns and even different parts - but they're all playing the same song, it really is the ultimate connection and teamworks at it's finest. Research from the Netherlands has also found that lessons in rhythm, melody and harmony have a real impact on cognitive abilities and intelligence.
So enough of treating music like the poor relation in our tightly controlled curriculums. Music is a universal language and children need music. I’m pretty sure we all need it. I definitely need it
So what our children might be missing out on in school, we have to make damn sure we’re giving them at home. We are the music teachers. Make use of Spotify and Youtube. The classical, the pop, the old fashioned Rock and Roll. Lullabies and nursery rhymes from day dot, counting songs and action songs. Let them find what they love and wallow in it. Introduce them to all the old tunes and explore the new tunes together.
In January 2019 I launched my online musical programme “Raise a Tiger” to light you and your child up from the inside out and I love sharing my love for music with families and teaching them how it can be use to raise self esteem and self belief in children, in the hope that one day, they too will have the courage to live on purpose and use their own gifts and talents to serve the world in a bigger, bolder way.
Make music, Make connections. Make memories. Make Tigers :)