1.Campbell phrases it best when she says “these more formal means of children’s musical play – these games and activities – there are several noteworthy structural forms” (Campbell, 28). The children observed and discussed in this section integrated musical concepts without fully understanding how. Recognizing that swinging a rope to a steady beat, clapping their hands to a chant, or jumping on a hopscotch pattern, constituting as musical ideas, are things that children might not recognize at first, but can understand what and how they are engaging with music if shown. It is neat to see specific examples such as Beth and Derek, who are children both heavily exposed to music, and to see how influential music can be from a young age. Children are eager to test and push their fine and gross motor skills with the amount of energy they have, and the part of the brain that music connects with can have a major impact on strengthening these skills, and expanding their abilities.
2. In any given school setting, the pre-determined notion about learning consists of the idea that the teacher provides and expands on the curriculum that students are supposed to learn in the classroom. What is clearly evident from Campbell’s reading is that this is not the only case; children are developing and learning through their social interactions, motor skills, and even playtime! Exposure to the arts benefits so many aspects of our lives, as noted in the accounts of Beth and Derek. Children are like sponges, in which they absorb and soak up all the information given to them. Campbell demonstrates this idea through Derek’s example, as he watched, learned, and creatively crafted his style of dancing.
3.After reading these observations and the unbeknownst musical interactions that these children were having during school, I was not surprised by the abilities that many were demonstrating. Given all of the “several jump rope chants and songs, counting-out rhymes, hand-clapping songs, and singing games,” that constituted the “more formal, complete displays of musical play,” I learned that even from a young age, children are prone to interact and express themselves through musical concepts, whether they are conscious of it or not (Campbell, 25). I have seen this in my own life with a variety of kids, as they are more inclined to rhythms, beats, patterns, and tunes then we give them credit.
4. I have several implications after pondering this reading, that have furthermore lead me to a couple conclusions regarding my career in teaching and music. I loved Campbell’s bold statement, when she says “children embrace [music] and use by themselves, beyond their teacher’s intervention (Campbell, 29). After completing my first week of my student internship at Emerson Elementary this past week, I can attest that children are innately musically inclined. I believe as a future educator, it is critical to allow a structured, musical environment, where their musical abilities can be explored, exposed, and enhanced. I love how she shares and pulls several examples from a child’s normal school day, and demonstrates that “children’s musical interests and abilities are already clearly evident by the time of their entrance into kindergarten (Campbell, 29). One thing I have taken away as a future music educator is the importance of recognizing these abilities, but more importantly recognizing their use and importance in everyday life.
5.In Intro to Music Education last year we discussed a lot about the idea of note versus rote learning first with children. I am still curious to this day, if there is a definite answer as to which is more beneficial or helpful in enhancing a child’s musical capabilities?
In many public schools in today’s society the arts programs are receiving less and less funding each year. Given the observations talked about in this reading, how as music educators can we prove and demonstrate to an adequate measurement that children really are born with innate musical qualities?