Mak­ing mu­sic lessons a pri­or­ity

Tak­ing up in­stru­ments can prove ben­e­fi­cial

Dalby Herald - - BACK TO SCHOOL ADVERTISING FEATURE - Meg Gan­non Meg.Gan­[email protected]­by­her­ald.com.au MAK­ING MU­SIC FUN: Lo­cal mu­sic teacher My­fanwy Schenk at the piano with one of her stu­dents, Hamish.

LEARN­ING an in­stru­ment is not just about sit­ting down and play­ing some notes on a page.

It’s about mak­ing friends, build­ing con­fi­dence and gain­ing life-long skills that can all be done in the class­room.

This is ac­cord­ing to My­fanwy Schenk, who has been a mu­sic tu­tor for about 16 years, spe­cial­is­ing in piano and vi­olin.

She be­lieves learn­ing to play an in­stru­ment while at school is great be­cause it helps build kids’ con­fi­dence.

Mrs Schenk also be­lieves learn­ing a mu­si­cal in­stru­ment is also an easy way for stu­dents to make friends and build con­nec­tions in the school en­vi­ron­ment.

“When you’re learn­ing an in­stru­ment at school in par­tic­u­lar, there are all these en­sem­bles you can be part of,” she said.

“You’ve got band and, if you know mu­sic al­ready, be­ing in a choir be­comes a lot eas­ier.”

“Then you have the op­por­tu­ni­ties to do duets and trios and just get to­gether with other peo­ple.”

In terms of con­fi­dence, Mrs Schenk be­lieves learn­ing to play in­stru­ments and tak­ing up mu­sic can strengthen a child’s sense of self.

“You have to prac­tise so you sound bet­ter when you’re in front of your teacher,” she said.

“In a group les­son you’ve got your peers there be­side you so that works on get­ting up and pre­sent­ing your­self to other peo­ple.”

Dur­ing the av­er­age pri­vate les­son, teach­ers and stu­dents worked to­gether on tech­ni­cal and stylis­tic el­e­ment.

Tech­ni­cal el­e­ments in­clude scales and drills, while stylis­tic el­e­ments in­clude putting emo­tion into the pieces be­ing learnt.

Tak­ing up an in­stru­ment in school is also a great way to re­lease built-up emo­tions.

“For a lot of peo­ple, mu­sic is emo­tional,” Mrs Schenk said.

“And, for them, mu­sic is one way to ex­press the hap­pi­ness or frus­tra­tion or sor­row and just get­ting it out.”

In­stead of dig­ging your head in a phone or lap­top, pick up an in­stru­ment and try your hand at learn­ing some­thing new in the school term, she sug­gested.

To peo­ple who have al­ways wanted to learn an in­stru­ment but are un­sure about how to start, Mrs Schenk has one sim­ple piece of ad­vice: “Give it a go”.

PHOTO: CON­TRIB­UTED

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