"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Reality: daily life

Today, one of the First Grade kids gave me a mug with music notes on it. 

I said, "Let's see what this music sounds like", and went over to the piano to play.

She looked at the piano as I was playing, and then at me, and then said, "Are you playing those notes that are written on the mug??"


"Wow!!! That's sooo cool!"

Well, uh, yeah. It kinda is, isn't it.


Resources: Agency

From one of my favorite books, Matthew Crawford's Shop Class as Soul Craft, talking about agency:

"The idea of agency..is activity directed toward some end that is affirmed as good by the actor...it flows from an apprehension of real features of the world....

In activities that are directed toward some end...the goodness of the end in question isn't simply posited.  There is a progressive revelation of why one ought to aim at just this, as well as how one can achieve it.

As you learn your trade, this particular end takes its place in a larger picture that is emerging, a picture of what it means to be a good plumber or a good mechanic.  ....

The progressive character of revelation energizes your efforts to become competent--something about the world is coming into clearer view, and it is exciting.

The sense that your judgments are becoming truer is part of the experience of being fully engaged in what you are doing; it is a feeling of joining a world that is independent of yourself, with the help of another who is further along."  (pp. 206-207)

It would be hard to find a better description, it seems to me, of what it is to teach--whether the learning is centered on plumbing or music, the incredible exhileration  of active engagement in the teaching process arises directly from the experience of agency.

Now, to figure out how to incorporate this awareness, even more, into my classroom....


Reality: Balance

Well, it's been a while since my last post....lots of stories happening, though!

Here's a First Grade interaction, after playing my fiddle & Bass, then giving each child a turn to  play the Bass.  (The two instruments had a little 'discussion' about who had the better sound, accompanied by delighted giggling from the students...)

Me   What do you think about the instruments?

Kids   Well, they're a little bit the same, and a little bit different.  Just like us!