Even though I have had a number of students begin piano lessons with me as early as 3 and 4-years old, I feel like I have a long ways to go in learning and understanding the most effective approaches for working with children this young. That’s why I made a point to keep Jenny’s post, Preschool Music: Methods & Schools of Thought, open in my browser tabs until I had a chance to read it. It took me longer than I realized to get to it (she wrote the post in May!), but I’m so glad I did! Not only does she have some helpful thoughts and links in the post, the comments led me to some other wonderful resources!
The Make Me Musical! blog by Susan Seale looks like a great place to pick up tips on working with little ones. The Early Childhood Music & Movement Association is will probably provide a good first step for researching and learning more about early childhood development and various philosophies. Blogger Laura Lowe shares some helpful insights from her extensive experience in the post, Piano Lessons for Twos and Threes?. The book, The Well Balanced Child: Movement and Early Learning, by Sally Goddard Blythe has been added to my wishlist and I look forward to gleaning additional information and practical ideas from it for approaching music education with young children from a holistic perspective. The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology website looks really interesting, too. I’ve just barely begun to look over it, but plan to look over it more extensively in the coming days.
Also, for anyone who’s interested in a deeper look into the American government education system and those who have guided its formation over the years, I read R. J. Rushdoony’s work, The Messianic Character of American Education, earlier this year and found it to be quite enlightening.
As fascinating as it is to study developmental theories and educational philosophies, I usually take it all with a grain of salt, so to speak. As a firm believer that man is uniquely created by a personal God, the only unchanging revelation about man’s nature is the inspired Word of God – the Bible. While much can be gained from the discoveries and research of others who have devoted their lives to understanding the complexities of human form and function, all of it is susceptible to inconsistencies and flaws. Not to mention that a lot of times one body of research contradicts another and leaves you wondering whether you’re helping or harming the child with whatever approach you’re using! Anyway…it’s good for me to remember that as I delve into research and study of different areas, I always have one source that I can turn to and depend on for absolute Truth.