“I try to open the student’s curiosity about music, its technical and enjoyable parts because the music I give them is just a sample….”-says Mr. Sam with emotion, no doubt he is a devoted teacher that loves what he does. He explains me that he teaches from class 1 up to 3rd of ESO but while Primary is more about experiencing and enjoying the music, Secondary is more about serious knowledge of music, more theory.
“I always tell my students that there’s no such a thing as bad music, there is music that we like and music that we don’t like.” Says Mr. Sam, “I would like them to listen to different kinds of music and to be able to appreciate them as they feel them. Recently we were studying electronic and hip hop in the 3rd of ESO and the students were teaching me. This is good as it enriches us both.”
As the philosopher Plato once said: “Music is a more potent instrument than any other for education” and lots of teachers of young children would agree with him. Recent research has found that music uses both sides of the brain, a fact that makes it valuable in all areas of development. Music affects the growth of a child’s brain academically, emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Music participation provides a unique opportunity for literacy preparation. Whether the children are singing, playing, or listening, teachers direct them to listen and hear in new ways which exercises their aural discrimination. Playing instruments and adding movement to the lessons teaches children about sequential learning which is essential in a reading comprehension.
Music is academic: A recent study from the University of California found that music trains the brain for higher forms of thinking.
Music is physical: Music can be described as a sport. Learning to sing and keep rhythm develops coordination.
Music is emotional: Music in a form of art. We are emotional beings and every child requires an artistic outlet.
Music is for life: Most people can’t play soccer, or football at 70 or 80 years of age but they can sing and they can play piano. Music is a gift we can all give to our children that will last for their entire lives.
Mr. Sam studied his Degree in Music in the University of Ulster and afterwards did his teacher training in the Queens University of Belfast. He plays piano, organ, trombone, tuba and recorder. He is proud to tell me the list of all the instruments St. Peter’s provides him with for the music teaching, specially the music class with 23 electronic keyboards. He is a maths lover and he even doubted about studying maths instead of Music. He explains me that there is a kind of similarity between the two subjects which I personally can’t see. For him the two subjects are about recognizing patterns. He sees the order, the logic, the results and the harmony in both and while we end up this interesting conversation I find myself thinking about maths…. Music and maths? Maybe this can be a subject for a new post…
(Shhh… one secret: One of his favorite pieces of music is the 3rd Symphony by Saint Saëns although he loves all music)