Although our program is conducted in a large group comprising young students of different ages and does not focus on any instrumental learning, we encourage the students to learn a musical instrument of their choice privately. Learning music is not about learning music theory alone. A musical instrument must be involved, otherwise, learning music will be dull and uninspiring. The only musical activity we do is for me to play on the keyboard and have students accompany using an assortment of percussion instruments. However, one can only go so far with this activity before boredom sets in. There needs to be variety.
For the purpose of our program, the ideal instruments that are affordable and portable would be the recorder and the pianica (also known as the melodica) as seen in the photos here.
Once any student begins learning to play a musical instrument, the appreciation of and interest in music should automatically catch on. From here on, how fast and how committed the student would be will depend
very much on his/her personal interest.
Playing the pianica is a lot more easy than the recorder, which is much more difficult to control. Blow too hard and the pitch will squeal on the recorder. Learning to control the amount of air requires practice and the students were advised to stand in front of a mirror and observe that they cover all the finger holes. Otherwise, they will take a much longer time to master this basic technique.
For these young chargers, getting them to play the instruments in unison produces quite a commotion. Hearing off pitches makes them holler out and clasping their ears, obviously in protest of hearing something not very musical. At least, they can differentiate between 'bad off pitched noise' and good musical tones. Hopefully, it will be off to a good start for them. I will looking forward to 'an experiment' that I wish to conduct during their next lesson and hope to report some success in the next blog posting.
It just so happens that the school has a 'roll up keyboard' that the students find fascinating when I was unfolding it to be plugged in.
Everyone was eager to try playing this keyboard, so I just let them have a go at it towards the end of the lesson. Of course, it's more of a toy than a real musical instrument.