It’s September. Some schools have already been back at it for a week, and the rest will be up and running by the next. As the air turns crisp we start into frantic back to school shopping sprees (Clothes? Check. Coloured pencils? Check. A box of tissues… what?! As if I need to buy those supplies, grumble, grumble… Okay, check.) We also begin to go to bed earlier, get up earlier and begin to plan carpools, after school care, and a variety of extra curricular.
Could I add one more thing to the back-to-school shuffle? Let’s talk to our kids about music class. For some, it’s a first, and it goes along with the first time at school ever. My daughter, almost 21 months old, will be going to Montessori Daycare next week. This is the first time away from Mama, Dada and the occasional care of Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles. So I am doing my best to “sell” the concept to her. At first she looked shocked, but now she participates a little more each time it comes up. She needs consistency, and to trust what her parents say is going to happen, WILL happen.
It is no different for older children. Obviously, your conversation length and content will depend on the child’s age. For younger newcomers, explain where you are going, who will be there (your new teacher, Mrs. Frizell, Mommy or Daddy, new friends and their Mommies and Daddies, etc…) and what you will do- we’ll have fun learning about music, singing, dancing and eventually playing piano. If you had negative experiences taking music as a child, do limit talk about the bad experiences, but instead try to show what you liked about it.
Returning students usually know the drill and can be excited or loathing to come back. Check your feelings on the subject: are you dreading practice sessions? (“But WHY do I have to? It’s not Fair!” etc…) Are you wondering what new things we may be learning this year? (“Mrs. Frizell said that Moonbeams 3 would have Canadian folksongs. Do you know any from school? Which ones? I used to sing Land of the Silver Birch in Brownies.”
It’s always nice to know what’s around the corner, and the same is true for our children. Let’s make sure we keep them engaged, interested, and in the loop.