By Christy | The Practicing Pro
You can also Watch / Listen to the Live HERE
Today I'm talking about little changes and how little daily changes make the most significant and lasting changes.
Let's look at a boat that's on a course.
It's headed straight toward somewhere. It goes to the same place every single trip, year after year; from generation to generation, it goes from one location to the next over and over.
Now, if the captain changes the regular course by just one degree at the very start of their course or somewhere along the beginning, you might not even notice the change.
It's not hard to change one degree.
The trip may become a teeny tiny bit longer or shorter, or the wind is a little different and the view a little different, but it is not noticeable at the start. The change is slightly different, but it's likely not even noticeable.
But they land in a completely different port!
They don't arrive at the same destination, but it was at the start just one little degree, and this changes their whole course and where they end up.
Like the boat, you can make a few little “one degree” changes in the course of your children's habits in their lives or your students' lives. Include one small pattern or change that is different, better, more diverse, kinder, more sensitive, or more confident. These more minor habit changes will make a HUGE change for them over time and when they arrive at their final destination of adulthood.
Any change you've decided is what you want to give them as a gift. If you make that change in even a small way, in a child's life, when they're young, it changes the course of their future, later in their lives and the end of their lives. They're significant changes because of it.
Isn't that so exciting? This concept gives us HOPE>
As a parent and teacher, I have experienced one way we can make changes for our children and our students with their personal tolerance to and understanding of the diversity of others is through reading and music.
Let's talk about music first. As a music teacher, if we teach our students one song, just one. One International song, a song that is not in our music focus song that's not mainstream classical or from where you are living. For me, the Suzuki program, it's not Baroque or Romantic. But instead, it's a traditional song from our area, an indigenous song, a piece written by a black composer or a piece of world music.
At our school, we study a set of songs from a diverse culture each year and another at summer camp. If they start at the school at 0-3 in the SECE program and then continue until high school, then by the end of their life, they've been exposed to 10-15 different kinds of music. Well, that's a lot! And then, at summer camp, I introduce another culture or two to them. A student, because they have studied with YOU, has now studied and gotten to know a diverse culture 20-30 different times.
That's a big change for them and their future. So as music teachers, it's time and money for us, but with so many resources available, it doesn't have to be a lot. It can be a huge project with a lot of work, or you can choose to make it easier. Either will create a huge change if we make it habitually and keep the course.
Making diverse music a part of our regular programming and included in our regular budgets in our studios.
What about in our homes?
When we go to our local libraries or purchase books for our children or grandchildren, we can make this small one-degree habit. Suppose you teach your child this small habit; then it's like the ship that goes one degree off. Every time you go to the library, your children get to pick their favourite books. Also, go to the specialty sections and pick up one or two books from the black author, indigenous section, or international book section. Teach them that, as a habit, to choose diverse books from cultures other than theirs and other countries. Making that one little change in their lives will help them see people that are different from them as interesting and wonderful.
Any change that is small enough to be consistent, and last, is the change that will stick.
To learn more about making changes in your practising, check out Blog # 40, Never miss practicing daily with “habit bundling.” To learn more about teaching your children, check out Blog #50, Teaching diversity to your children and with music.
October 17th is Black Poets day. I am excited to share with you a book I found at the library called "Just Like Me," by author Vanessa Brantley-Newton. You can click on the Face Book live link to hear me read some of my favourite poems in her book OR check out the reel on @practicingpro Instagram posted on Oct 17th, National Black Poets day.
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Checklist for a Successful Music Practice
Your easy checklist to have successful home music practices from Christy, the practicing pro. Whether you are a new or seasoned practice parent, this checklist will help you organize before, during, and after practices for effective and fun practices.
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