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Growth

Brittany  turned to me the other day and said, “When I have kids I am going to make sure they take music lessons. It is so important for them.”

Brittany was finishing her undergraduate engineering degree when she said this. As a teenager, she was living with her single mother when various personal issues caused her to leave home and move in with her grandmother.

Her grandmother thanked me many times for the stability that I offered Brittany by having her come to my home for her recorder lessons for many years. She learned to play very well.

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Betty had always wanted to play the flute. As a doctor’s wife, she had been a patron of the arts and had always loved music, but she never actually played an instrument herself.

When she retired, she started taking flute lessons. After a couple of years, her teacher said “That’s as much as you will be able to learn because you started when you were so old.”  Being a doctor’s wife, she sought a second opinion. That is when she came to me for lessons. After a few more years of study, she was playing Handel sonatas at the level of the RCM syllabus grades 6 to 8, and enjoying herself immensely.

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Peer modelling 

“Is that your daughter playing on the Book 1 CD?”

Now my 16 year old daughter has been acting as my assistant in the beginner group class, and she will often play the tune while I guide the students in the activity.

I found it really interesting that for this child, imagining an older child playing the music on the recording  was more immediate than imagining an adult doing so.

So I told her, “No, that is not my daughter. But it sounds like it could be her because she has listened to that recording so much. But anybody can learn to sound like that, they just have to listen to the CD lots & lots.”

Student: “Mommy, can we go home and listen to the CD for 20 .. no, 40 minutes?”

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