Monday, September 28, 2015

We Are All Learning

(This post also appears in our SCDSB 194 Days of Learning Blog!)

About eight months ago, I blogged about the challenges of supervising my daughters' daily piano practice. The post described how we were all learning something from this shared experience, particularly about grit and perseverance.

The last week has brought about an interesting development in our family piano journey. I have agreed to take on the role of piano accompanist for a community choir I belong to. Our previous accompanist had moved on, and although I didn't volunteer immediately and enthusiastically (I have lots on my plate!) I knew that I could fill the position if they needed me to. 

It has been several years (read: more than 10) since I did any work as an accompanist, and I do not practise piano regularly (read: almost never). The challenge of jumping back into this type of role was attractive to me; an opportunity to shake off the cobwebs and see what I'm capable of. 

Now I find a little bit of time each day to practise piano. I am acutely aware that I can teach my girls about 'piano grit' by modelling that grittiness in a very real way. So, I repeat the same three bars of music 10 times if I have to. I get out the metronome and slow down when I encounter challenging rhythms. I write down a list of things I need to work on so that I can use my time efficiently. I stop or take a break if I get frustrated.

Kids learn by example. As parents and teachers it is important that the young people in our lives see us taking on real challenges. Sometimes there is discomfort associated with a teacher learning along with (or in front of) students, but I can't think of a better way to model learning strategies and growth mindset.

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