Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Mouths of Babes

I’ve never been of the camp that kids are smarter than us old-timers because they can navigate the new machines better and faster. Or that their opinions are automatically more relevant and interesting than what adults who have been a few times around the block have to offer. But their insights (and artwork and poetry and questions) can be fresh and intuitive and sometimes wise. Give them the relevant experience and ask the right question at the right time and their eloquence is often astounding.

And so I was delighted when a colleague of mine, Conway Chewning, teaching music at an international school in Budapest, had the thought to ask the kids what singing meant to them. These kids were 3rd and 4th graders, younger than my 8th graders who I surveyed and shared in the post “Flavor in Food, Color in Nature.” But I couldn’t help but be struck by many similar observations, like the “peanut butter out of jelly” parallel to the title above and the “using a different part of the brain.” Makes me think about doing a book alternating kids quotes with my pedagogical/ philosophical/ scientific explanations of their right-on perceptions. (Feel free to survey your kids and send them to me! I’ll credit you, of course. And the kids if possible.)


• When I sing I think, “This is myself, it is freedom.”
• Music is important.  It’s candy for everyone’s ears. 
·      • Music makes kids calm down, interact with each other and listen to other ways of communication.  Kids think with another part of their brain.  They enjoy it a lot.

·      • Music creates good imagination, calms the brain down and helps work at school.  Children enjoy it. It is a precious thing to them.  The world without music is nothing.
       • Music doesn’t make people worry, it’s the only relaxing thing at school sometimes.  It’s fun to do and can make people happy.  It makes you feel good.

·      • Children love music and if music wouldn’t be then they would feel bad all day.
• Music helps soothe a child’s active mind.

·       • Taking music out of school is like taking peanut butter out of the jelly.

• Imagine the world without music and no lovely music games.  The Earth dark and out of tune.

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