The Amazing Musical Maze

mazeI love mazes…the big ones made out of shrubs or corn stalks or stone.  The ones that you enter into and wander through blindly, hoping each turn will bring you closer to the exit. Sometimes you hit a dead end and have to double back, sometimes you find yourself back at the beginning and have to start all over. This is usually when I become a little frustrated with the whole thing. In fact, at this point I often wish that there was a maze director calling out directions – “turn left at the next fork…now hang a right”. Getting through the maze would be so much easier and faster too!

It is quite amazing how far you can walk in some mazes without realizing it. Imagine if the twists and turns were all unravelled and set end to end creating one long expanse of hallway. I guess you would be able to see all of the maze at once, including the exit, but would you want to walk all the way down that hallway to get to it, if you knew just how far you would have to walk?

Learning how to read and understand music is like walking through a maze. There is so much to learn. In fact, if parents and children had to look at all the information and work required to master an instrument, like an unravelled maze, few would venture to enter the music hallway at all.  This is why Music For Young Children has developed an amazing maze by which young children can learn the wonders of music one glorious mystery at a time.  Each section of the maze is short and enticing and leads you to a turn where a new exciting section is revealed.

The best part of the MYC maze is that it comes complete with a maze director-the teacher! It is my job to get you through the maze one section at a time, letting you know when to turn left and when to double back and journey through a section one more time for extra practice. The best maze directors do not reveal too much of the maze at one time. They allow their students to discover some of the treasures of the maze on their own. Sounds like a wonderful way to learn, doesn’t it? It is!

The other wonderful thing about the MYC maze is that every child has an adult guide – their parent. Adults are impatient creatures though, and sometimes we can’t bear to be confined by walls, unable to see where we are headed and can’t help but look over the walls to see the exit. We’d rather just climb over all of the obstacles and get to the end quickly. Or we want the maze director to give us all the directions at once.  Many times, parents ask for more information on a concept I am teaching in class. They want to know the why and how of concepts that would be difficult for young children to understand…making the wonderful, mysterious, exciting maze turn into a long, scary hallway 

As your maze director you can be confident that I am making sure your child is learning exactly what they need to know to get to the next turn of the maze and that when the time comes they will reach the part of the maze that explores each concept further until they reach full understanding and mastery…the “exit”!

How to be an expert maze guide. (ie effective music partner for your child)

  • Listen attentively in class so you can help your child at home
  • Offer assistance to your child only if they need it – allow them to develop listening and problem solving skills which lead to independence.
  • Offer support when the going gets tough, be understanding and positive.
  • If you find a concept interesting or confusing, talk to your teacher outside of class so she/he does not reveal too much maze to the children in the class.
  • Trust your teacher. She/he is trained and qualified to get you through “the maze” and will teach concepts as they are relevant and when they can easily be understood by your child.
  • Enjoy the journey! Getting there is half the fun! : )

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