How are your gardening skills? If you can grow a plant, you can grow a young musician. The early stages of learning to play a musical instrument can be a magic period of growth for a young child. The transformation of a total beginner into a fully fledged young musician is often compared to the development of a tiny seed into a beautiful flowering plant.
- When the seed of desire to play an instrument is sown, it must be given every chance to germinate. We plant it in the best environment that we can find. Young musicians need comfortable, happy surroundings. Growth will be stronger if instruments are the right size, work well and produce a rich sound.
- A seed will grow if it is kept warm and well watered. In fact, some of the best gardeners talk lovingly to their plants as they tend them. We offer the warmth of love and encouragement to our young musicians while providing nourishing daily listening and practice opportunities.
- Some seeds require very special conditions to germinate. The most desirable plants are often the most difficult to grow. Some take forever to show signs of life. This can also be true when a young musician begins to learn an instrument. Some of the most capable players take a long time to get going.
- If you have ever tried to germinate an Avocado Pear seed on a jar of water you will have some idea of the length of time that elapses before the seed slowly splits open and the first tiny root tip emerges. It needs extra warmth, water and fertile earth to develop into a healthy productive tree. There are also many things which have to become automatic before a young musician can successfully play an instrument.
- A plant will only grow well if the roots are healthy. Before it develops into a beautiful tree, it may face many difficulties such as bad weather, pest attack or disease. A good gardener can nurture a plant through such difficulties. Similarly a young musician needs extra warmth, love and encouragement to get the basics right, overcome obstacles and develop into fine young adults.
You can help your young musician through these tough patches by celebrating hard work and moments of success along the way. Do this regularly, to help your child imprint these in the memory. Talk to him about his successes, encouraging him to use his senses. Help him to see what he saw, to hear what he heard, and to feel what he felt. If there are memories of taste and smell, use these too. When you do this regularly, you are creating a very powerful tool which will make the memories pop up easily when needed.
You will have helped your child to grow a magic garden full of happy memories, to draw from when times are tough, or when he needs a boost of self confidence. As time goes on, your young musician will link you to each memory that you have helped imprint and remember you, with gratitude every time he steps into his magic garden.