True Education Is “With,” Not “At”

I would contend that people truly learn only through experience. A person who has not personally grappled with a subject does not really understand that subject. This concept of personally struggling through the process of learning comes from within the student, not the teacher.

How then can a teacher teach? If all true learning comes from the internal motivation of the student, what is the role of the teacher? Can a teacher force learning upon the student?

My answer would be, “Not easily!”

I once had a neighbor whose son that was addicted to illegal drugs. I had a conversation with him at one point where he told me that he raised him to know better. He said this while he had a cigarette hanging out of his mouth. He had recently had surgery to remove part of his throat due to throat cancer caused by chain smoking. He may have told his son that he should not use drugs, but the experience of seeing his father smoke constantly taught him differently.

To train your children effectively, experience the process of learning together with your children. Teaching is not something you do “at” your children, it is something you experience together with your children.

If you want your children to enjoy music, enjoy music yourself and share it with your children. Expose them to good music. Take up lessons along with your children. Play piano duets with them. Sing with them. Set the pace of learning alongside of them. Let them see that music is an activity that adults enjoy.

This is the way to grow a musician.

About Curtis Hollembeak

Psalm 118:14, "The Lord is my strength and song, and is become my salvation." Curtis currently lives in Rockford, IL with his wife and three children. Curtis works as church and school music director at the Berean Baptist Church. He has been a music educator and director for over 15 years.
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