I have a student who’s in grade six (I assume that she’s 11 or 12 years old – I’ve never asked), and she’s just started to play the flute (so far, we’ve developped the Bb and F major scales). In her last lesson, she asked me to teach her “Lester Jumps or something like that…” so I played the melody to “Lester Leaps In” and she perked up right away and exclaimed “that’s the one!”
I wrote out the melody and gave it to her. We spent the rest of the lesson firming up the rhythm (she can play the notes consistently) and I sent her home. Her homework for the next lesson – memorize the tune.
I’m very excited that a student that is young has taken an interest in the music that I love. I’ve asked several other music teachers in the area what they think in regards to her age, experience and their teaching methods. I have gotten too basic responses – “too early” or “go for it!”
So, I ask teachers (in all subjects), parents and anyone else who has an opinion a few questions –
If a young student shows interest in a subject, do you acknowledge it?
If not, are you stiffling their creativity in any way?