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Music Class

September 6, 2009

There is so much available for kids here in Portland. Lately Bennie has been asking to take a class. She sees girls dressed in tutus go in and out of the community center building in Laurelhurst park, and a few weeks ago they left the back door open a crack and she watched the entire preschool aged ballet class. She’s since been asking to take a class.  I’ve been eyeing the Portland Parks and Recreation website for some time, and decided to sign her up for a music class just down the street.

Her first class, “Exploring Music for 2-4 yr olds” at the Community Music Center was amazing. The instructor utilized the Orff, Kodály and Dalcroze teaching methods,  incorporating alot of movement, rhythm, dance, pretend play and sign language into her session.

It always intrigues me the way different children process and engage in experiences. Benecia prefers to watch first before interacting. She quietly scowled at the instructor for the full 45 minutes, then once we returned home, she headed straight to the keyboard, pulled out song books and other instruments and started singing and dancing. She asked me to tell her the story of our class over and over again: how the teacher mispronounced her name, how another little girl tried to take her zylophone away, how there were a lot of stairs in the building and  so on. This is how she processes. The next time we go, she will feel a bit more comfortable, and probably want to sing and dance along a little bit. Other children jump right in, interacting with their peers or with the teacher. A few want to have their parent do everything with them, and others still seemingly ignore the structure alltogether and go exploring the room on their own. I cringe when I hear label words such as shy or agressive, because not only are they negative, they are misinterpretations of a child’s learning proces. The class instructor seemed very sensitive and respectful of the range of personalities in her class. I think B and I will both enjoy the session.

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