Does age matter?

Being able to realize one’s full potential, from early childhood onwards, what does this imply for the children’s music teachers?

Mix wants to focus on looking for the best opportunities that offer the key to everyone’s unique musical potential. Developing this potential is also the key to a lifelong connection with music, the joy of music being ageless. Maybe young music lovers will even become professional musicians, gifted amateurs or skilled listeners, the outcome is, in fact, of minor importance.
It is all about creating the chance that opens ways to explore and enjoy music in a personal way.

It is a nice ambition to include the very young on this musical path. One thing is for sure, the pedagogical outset should not play this card of ambition but should deal a full deck of cards with every card a playful trump card. The trick is to ignite this spark of commitment, regardless of ambition. Music in its diversity can be so captivating, especially to the very young, as a unique way of this human tendency of wanting to be heard. Getting children involved in singing, in reading music, introducing them to musical instruments, from rudimentary, ancient devices to digital appliances, everything is out there, waiting to be discovered. Staging or attending a live performance, getting to grips with one’s own creativity through composing and improvisation, perhaps even through performing a personal piece… There is no wider cultural scope than the musical one.

From a didactic point of view, the age at which one will begin to explore music’s potential is of course also subject to certain considerations. However, cliché-like it may sound, every age’s road to more music has the love of music as a common denominator. The age at which one’s engages into music is a reality check. Whether it is from the viewpoint of teachers, or that of those being taught at whatever age, music will always add spice of life to reality. If participants can throw aspects of a particular cultural identity into the mix, this will only add more flavour, waiting to be discovered.

Mix talkes to students and former students in music education. We ask them about their experiences and their memories.

What do the students value? What memories do they cherish? What are they proud of? What would they themselves do differently?

The best way for a teacher to reflect is to listen carefully to the students and their learning experiences.

In this video, you can hear one of our youngest interviewed students have his say. Simon talks about his experiences as a harp student in music education.