This education blog shares various horizons of music in order to promote sustainable development of music education. Being devoted to music education for 17 years, Carol Ng has established her private studio at Sandy Bay, Tasmania with an examination-standard Yamaha grand piano. In addition, Carol is keen on enlightening the next generation and advocating continuous advancement of music industry.

教育BLOG旨在推廣音樂教育發展,讓更多人認識不同的音樂領域;吳老師投身音樂教育十七年,於塔斯馬尼亞的沙地灣開設私人教室,並採用符合考試標準之Yamaha 三角琴教學,致力培育新一代音樂學好者及推動音樂行業的持續發展。

2014年10月21日 星期二

培養節奏感:BB篇

去年暑假,我教授了一連串的音樂課。一位高小學生在課後問道:「何謂重拍?」腦裏即時出現一個常用字典解釋,但我立刻知道,這個解釋是不會讓該學生明白「重拍」的意義,因為拍子節奏是要透過身體直接感受,而非筆墨所能形容。

0-6歲音樂發展黃金期
其實,兒童音樂發展的黃金時段,可算是由初生至6歲的階段。若能把握機會,提高兒童的聽覺和節奏感,將會對孩子未來的器樂或音樂學習有重要影響。音樂主要由旋律和節奏組成。

演奏者奏得出色,除了奏出優美的旋律外,還要把樂曲的節奏有效地和令人折服地表現出來。年齡愈小的孩童對節奏的感應與成人有異,幼兒必須透過身體動作和遊戲來學習節奏。所以,家長應透過活動,替子女製造多點學習節奏的機會。

就嬰兒階段來說,照顧者或父母可隨着富節奏感的音樂,有節奏地輕拍嬰兒的身體或來回搖擺,甚至可輕輕地把嬰兒放在平面上左右滾動,以增加嬰兒對節奏的感應。此外,把嬰兒放在父母的膝上,面向自己,隨着音樂左右或上下擺動,也是一種培養節奏感的有效活動;不過,父母記緊要托着嬰兒的頸部,以作支撑。

除了互動式的活動外,父母也可選擇較靜態的活動,如隨着音樂節拍,用手指或小型手搖鈴,輕輕地敲在嬰兒身體的不同部位;多用節奏性朗讀來頌讀故事、搖籃曲或兒歌,也可令嬰兒熟悉富節奏的聲音。

無論照顧者是父母、長輩或傭人,以上活動都能輕易地融合於日常生活中。縱然,嬰兒的反應可能有別,但家長不要放棄。因為孩子的反應和參與,會隨着年齡和身體的增長漸漸進步,就如一張白紙,我們只開始了繪圖的雛型,孩子對事物反應的增加,會慢慢地為圖畫添上更美的色彩。到底幼兒階段的節奏感又如何培養?下回將與大家分享。

文:彭雯蕙

自《開心爸媽》(22/2/2011)

2014年10月20日 星期一

心智轉變 高小升中易棄學琴

每當看到孩子慢慢成長,個子長高了、知識長進了,家長和老師當然高興。不過,孩子隨之而來的心智轉變,或多或少會影響他們的學習心態,成為家長和老師不得不面對的挑戰。孩子到了高小至初中的年齡,心智上會有明顯的變化,家長必須多方了解及體諒,孩子才能順利度過這個階段。否則,若家長不予理會,這個年紀的孩子最容易放棄學琴。那麼,這段年齡層的孩子,在學習音樂的過程中會有哪些心態上的轉變呢?

.學習時,必須要得到立即的成就感;
.急於達到目標,而不計後果;
.一些上進心強的孩子會抗拒學習具挑戰性的技巧,且完美主義意識漸强;
.面對失敗的反應更强烈;
.大多數男孩子會視不能達標(如彈錯音、忘記樂譜或不能達到老師要求)為一種意外現象,並不太在意;但一些女孩子會將此事視為一種嚴重失誤,心情為之低落;
.一些向來自信滿滿的孩子會突然畏懼上台演出,而有些平常害羞的孩子又突然變得信心十足,在台上出盡風頭;
.升上初中的孩子會處處表現出成人的樣子,但遇事卻非常膽小;
.這個階段的孩子非常渴望得到成人的指引,但卻不敢於承認,所以常用辯駁的方式與成人溝通;
.常常忘記自己答應過的事。

家長必須了解成長中的孩子不僅要面對心智上的轉變,亦要面對社會、生活和人際關係的改變。他們要面對的包括:
.開始意識到自己的音樂喜好,如古典文化vs流行文化;他們開始思索學音樂的目的和意義。
.父母的期望高了,他們變得非常在意父母怎樣看待他們的音樂學習過程,特別是成績和比賽結果,心理壓力亦增加。
.除了要練琴,如今還要面對學校功課、課外活動、其他興趣、同儕活動、家庭時間等;音樂變成生活中的一小部分而不是大部分。

家長和老師或不理解為什麼這個年紀的孩子常抗拒甚至放棄學習音樂。事實上,他們亦有自己的難處和壓力,正正需要成人的體諒和扶持。關於如何面對這個年紀孩子的心理需求,下回會有更詳細的分享。
文:蔡迪博士

自《開心爸媽》(7/6/2011)

比賽的威力(下)

新學年終於開始了,一浪浪的校際比賽將接踵而來。上回談到為學生在技術和思想上準備的重要性,今次我們看看其他考慮因素,讓我們為學生準備得更盡善盡美。

從學生角度看比賽
俗語有云:「一樣米養百樣人。」人人性格不同,學生也不例外。由於「比賽」帶來一定的壓力,能面對及承受壓力的學生,在臨場表現方面,較其他學生為佳;相反,性格內向的學生多在熟悉的環境中發揮自如,緊張的比賽氣氛,會使他們表現大打折扣。由此可見,「比賽」並不完全適合所有學生,家長和老師可從學生得益角度,來決定是否參與比賽。再者,學生的「個人選擇」,也應是考慮的因素。因為,要把「比賽」成為正面和學習成長的機會,學生積極參與是不可缺少的。唯有那些樂意參與的學生,才會認真看待準備過程中,務求在音樂追求上得到更大進步,最終能藉此機會,在個人學習上得到健康快樂的成長。

為學生選擇合適的比賽
既然我們以「比賽」作為正面和學習成長的機會,那麼,家長和老師就要小心地選擇合適的比賽。一般比賽均有指定參賽樂曲,家長和老師在選擇時,應考慮學生的程度,切勿挑選要求過高或過低的比賽。長時間練習或不當地彈奏過度困難的樂曲可導致學生受傷,造成永久損害,得不償失;反過來說,為求奪標而參加低於學生程度的比賽,亦不能提升其程度,也是自欺欺人的行為。家長和老師應多加審慎,避免在小小學生的心中種下這種扭曲的態度。

毋懼挫敗繼續向前
人生遇上挫敗,十常八九。若要被每個「挫敗」打倒,而站不起來,「人生」就變得十分可憐了。生命要活得下去,關鍵是我們如何看待「挫敗」,堅持屢敗屢戰的精神,才能積極地面對生命。對於年紀小小的學生,「比賽」是他們的小插曲。若然成功獲獎,必要學到勝而不驕的態度;但若失敗,就必要接納自己的不足之處,從中學習,尋求進步的空間,總不要垂頭喪氣,把責任推到別人身上。只有懂得在挫敗中成長,才可以在人生添上更多色彩。

家長為子女提供不同的進步機會,務求讓他們得到最好的成長,「比賽」實是可用的一個提升機會。盼望家長不要忽略比賽所帶來威力,為孩子來一針「心靈預防針」,以積極態度來迎接新一年的比賽,讓這「威力」成為孩子既正面而有價值的經歷。

文:彭雯蕙博士
自《開心爸媽》(9/10/2012)

練習四式

在教學日子裏,我經常被問到如何協助子女練習的問題,其中大部分都跟「練習時數」與「成效」不相稱有關,當中發現不少學生在彈奏時缺乏思考和聆聽,因此未能對自己的彈奏作出分析,及時矯正錯誤,最終導致練習失效。其實,只要緊守四大原則,恒常的練習都能變得高效率。

在開始練習前,家長必須提醒子女重溫教師的筆記,清楚了解樂曲的要求及需要改進的地方,特別是年幼的兒童,家長額外的指引更為需要,這可幫助子女在練習時明白老師的指引。當子女明白練習目標後,就可以把每個目標逐一練習。每次彈奏時可用四個步驟來評估自己的彈奏,這些步驟可用四條問題(4Ws--What ?Where?Why?How?)來表示。

1.彈奏了什麼(What)?:初步評核自己的彈奏是否達到老師的指引。

2.哪裏出錯呢(Where)?:如果未能達標,學生需找出錯誤的地方再練習。

3.為何出現錯誤(Why?):當學生鎖定錯誤範圍後,必須明白導致錯誤的原因,如用錯指法或音準失誤等……

4.如何矯正錯誤(How?):經過仔細思考後,學生應作適當調整,避免重複相同錯誤。

通過這樣的分析思維,能提升學生的聆聽和集中力,練習成效也相應增加。小朋友從小培養這種思維訓練,不但有利音樂學習,日後更可應用於其他生活和學科範疇。家長應鼓勵子女以細心聆聽、多加思考的態度來練習,這遠勝於以「次數」或「分鐘」為準則的練習。

文:彭雯蕙

自《開心爸媽》(20/11/2012)

This Is Your Brain. This Is Your Brain On Music


          

Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech.    
Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech. ( Annie Tritt for NPR hide caption)
 
                           
Musical training doesn't just improve your ear for music — it also helps your ear for speech. That's the takeaway from an unusual new study published in The Journal of Neuroscience. Researchers found that kids who took music lessons for two years didn't just get better at playing the trombone or violin; they found that playing music also helped kids' brains process language.

And here's something else unusual about the study: where it took place. It wasn't a laboratory, but in the offices of Harmony Project in Los Angeles. It's a nonprofit after-school program that teaches music to children in low-income communities.

Two nights a week, neuroscience and musical learning meet at Harmony's Hollywood headquarters, where some two-dozen children gather to learn how to play flutes, oboes, trombones and trumpets. The program also includes on-site instruction at many public schools across Los Angeles County.
Harmony Project is the brainchild of Margaret Martin, whose life path includes parenting two kids while homeless before earning a doctorate in public health. A few years ago, she noticed something remarkable about the kids who had gone through her program.

"Since 2008, 93 percent of our high school seniors have graduated in four years and have gone on to colleges like Dartmouth, Tulane, NYU," Martin says, "despite dropout rates of 50 percent or more in the neighborhoods where they live and where we intentionally site our programs."
   
There are plenty of possible explanations for that success. Some of the kids and parents the program attracts are clearly driven. Then there's access to instruments the kids couldn't otherwise afford, and the lessons, of course. Perhaps more importantly, Harmony Project gives kids a place to go after the bell rings, and access to adults who will challenge and nurture them. Keep in mind, many of these students come from families or neighborhoods that have been ravaged by substance abuse or violence — or both.

Still, Martin suspected there was something else, too — something about actually playing music — that was helping these kids.

Enter neurobiologist Nina Kraus, who runs the Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory at Northwestern University. When a mutual acquaintance at the National Institutes of Health introduced her to Martin, Kraus jumped at the chance to explore Martin's hunch and to study the Harmony Project kids and their brains.

Breaking Down Brainwaves
Before we get to what, exactly, Kraus' team did or how they did it, here's a quick primer on how the brain works:

The brain depends on neurons. Whenever we take in new information — through our ears, eyes or skin — those neurons talk to each other by firing off electrical pulses. We call these brainwaves. With scalp electrodes, Kraus and her team can both see and hear these brainwaves.


Using some relatively new, expensive and complicated technology, Kraus can also break these brainwaves down into their component parts — to better understand how kids process not only music but speech, too. That's because the two aren't that different. They have three common denominators — pitch, timing and timbre — and the brain uses the same circuitry to make sense of them all.

In other research, Kraus had noticed something about the brains of kids who come from poverty, like many in the Harmony Project. These children often hear fewer words by age 5 than other kids do.
And that's a problem, Kraus says, because "in the absence of stimulation, the nervous system ... hungry for stimulation ... will make things up. So, in the absence of sound, what we saw is that there was just more random background activity, which you might think of as static."

In addition to that "neural noise," as Kraus calls it, ability to process sound — like telling the difference between someone saying "ba" and "ga" — requires microsecond precision in the brain. And many kids raised in poverty, Kraus says, simply have a harder time doing it; individual sounds can seem "blurry" to the brain. (To hear an analogy of this, using an iconic Mister Rogers monologue — giving you some sense of what the brain of a child raised in poverty might hear — be sure to listen to the audio version of this story.)

Improving Your Ear For Music, And Speech

Learning to play an instrument appears to strengthen the brain's ability to capture the depth and richness of speech sounds. These heat maps of brainwaves show how much music lessons improved kids' neurophysiological distinction of consonants.

Responsiveness to Sounds


Working with Harmony Project, Kraus randomly assigned several dozen kids from the program's waitlist into two groups: those who would be studied after one year of music lessons and those who would be studied after two years.

And what she found was that in the two-year kids, the static didn't go away. But their brains got better — more precise — at processing sound. In short: less blur.

Why The Improvement?
It goes back to pitch, timing and timbre. Kraus argues that learning music improves the brain's ability to process all three, which helps kids pick up language, too. Consonants and vowels become clearer, and the brain can make sense of them more quickly.

That's also likely to make life easier at school, not just in music class but in math class, too — and everywhere else.

To be clear, the study has its limits. It was small — roughly 50 kids, ranging in age from 6 to 9. It wasn't conducted in a lab. And it's hard to know if kids doing some other activity could have experienced similar benefits.

But 10th-grader Monica Miranda doesn't need proof that playing violin has helped her. She's one of the first students in the door at a recent Harmony Project re-enrollment event in the auditorium of a nearby elementary school.

"I feel like music really connects with education," she says. "It helps you concentrate more."
Miranda is in her third year with Harmony Project.

"When I do my homework or I'm studying for something and I feel overwhelmed, I usually go to my violin, to start playing it," Miranda says. "I feel like it relaxes my mind. And coming here to play with an orchestra, it's just amazing. I love it."

And, the science says, her brain loves it, too.

by Cory Turner
from "NPR Ed"(September 10, 2014)

Why Does Music Education Matter?

A few days ago, someone asked me for a few quotes about music education for an article he’s writing.  His first question:

“why is music important to the development (both personal and academic) of our students?”

In our everyday lives as teachers, we’re not generally asked to explain why music matters.  We’re busy planning lessons and concerts, attending faculty meetings, and calmly explaining to a pair of arguing children why it doesn’t matter “who started it.”  We rarely stop to examine why we’re doing what we do.  We just love it.  We can’t imagine doing anything else.  Music is everything!   Music is necessary!  But based on how frequently music gets cut from the school curriculum, not everyone sees it that way.  I’m grateful to have an opportunity to sit down and really work out what I believe is the answer to this question.  Here’s what I think:

Because administrators and politicians generally view music as an  “add-on” or “special,” it can be the first program cut from a school facing budget constraints.  As a result, supporters of music education constantly struggle to justify music’s importance.  They might show how music improves math scores and increases school attendance, or they may demonstrate that the focus and discipline required to master an instrument improve students’ overall academic performance.   Proponents of music education may also discuss one of the most compelling effects of music—the fact that creating music requires individual competence (based on practice and discipline) combined with attentiveness to others in an ensemble, and that this balance prepares children for success in any work or personal environment.   They may also point out that learning to lead an ensemble, whether as a conductor, band leader, or first chair in an orchestra, is excellent preparation for leadership of any kind.

They’re right, of course, about all those things.  But the underlying reason that music helps improve nearly every area of a child’s life is that music is a critical and necessary part of the human experience. The more you remove people’s access to creating and listening to music, the more people suffer, both individually and as a part of a culture.

Each of us has a heartbeat that makes us the walking embodiment of music.  Our life force is a steady beat, the foundation for all music.  When we are excited or frightened, the beat accelerates. When we are relaxed or at rest, the beat is slower.  Music has its basis in our very core.   Also, in order to communicate, we vary the pitch of our voices to create language.  Varying pitches are the basis for melody.  In fact, that’s why we can remember language in the form of lyrics to a song more easily than language in the form of a poem or expository prose.  The song organizes the language into memorable pitch and rhythmic patterns, thus tapping into qualities which are inherent to our physical being.

Yet many in the U.S. and some other parts of the world increasingly view music as the exclusive domain of the extraordinarily talented.  Many people will say that they can’t sing, or that they have no musical ability.  The reality, however, is that they simply have had limited exposure to music, particularly at a very young age.   What we think of as being inborn talent or genius is more likely a combination of some natural ability, passion, early exposure, extensive practice, and laser-like dedication.

Those same people who say that they are “not musical” often love listening to music and are deeply affected by it.  That’s because music is a direct line to our emotions.  Everyone from retailers to advertising executives to the person organizing the high school graduation knows this.  Every spa plays slow music during treatments to help you relax, every professional sports event is peppered with music designed to heighten excitement.  Even fans often chant and sing in response to the action. (“Let’s go Yankees,” followed by a rhythmic clapping pattern, is sung to the tune of a minor third.)  Music is an intrinsic part of events where we feel complex or heightened emotions.  Anyone watching a horror movie with his eyes closed can tell you exactly when something bad is about to happen because the dissonant music evokes an immediate visceral response.  Music is power, and people who control the music are in control of people’s emotions.  And those who choose to participate in music gain something deeply satisfying when they tap into that power, often a sense of relief or expression. Consider these examples:


    45, 000 people, many of whom will tell you that they “can’t sing” will nevertheless sing the chorus to “Hey Jude” with joyful abandon at a Paul McCartney concert.

    On 9/11, U.S. politicians spontaneously sang “God Bless America” on the steps of the capital building to express their sense of grief, anger, and patriotism. They didn’t spontaneously speak the pledge of allegiance in a monotone chant.
    For adults, a song from childhood or high school will evoke extraordinarily immediate and tactile memories of that time.
    Parents softly sing to babies to calm them and get them to sleep.  Parents who “don’t sing” will purchase recordings and play them for the babies, knowing the effect they will have.
    Immediately after a disaster, what is done in order to raise money?  A concert!  Not products to purchase, not a performance of comedy sketches, not an art installation, but music.  The music helps people process the pain of the disaster, and also provides a foundation to inspire people to give money to help victims.

Music is unique in that it is both a discipline and an immediate gateway to human emotional life.   Children who participate regularly in music not only hone their abilities to focus, think, analyze, organize, and work with colleagues, but begin to master their own emotional lives.  Many of the people causing harm in the world through violence, wars, intimidation, and corruption could have avoided that path if they had had access to both a better awareness of their own emotional lives and a constructive passion in which to direct their desire for power.   Music provides both.

from "the Singing Classroom" (March 24, 2013)

 

Top 10 skills children learn from the arts



(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)
(by Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

You don’t find school reformers talking much about how we need to train more teachers in the arts, given the current obsession with science, math, technology and engineering (STEM), but here’s a list of skills that young people learn from studying the arts. They serve as a reminder that the arts — while important to study for their intrinsic value — also promote skills seen as important in academic and life success. (That’s why some people talk  about changing the current national emphasis on STEM to STEAM.) This was written by Lisa Phillips is an author, blog journalist, arts and leadership educator, speaker and business owner. To learn about Lisa’s book, “The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World,” . This appeared on the ARTSblog, a program of Americans for the Arts.

By Lisa Phillips

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

2. Confidence – The skills developed through theater, not only train you how to convincingly deliver a message, but also build the confidence you need to take command of the stage. Theater training gives children practice stepping out of their comfort zone and allows them to make mistakes and learn from them in rehearsal. This process gives children the confidence to perform in front of large audiences.

3. Problem Solving – Artistic creations are born through the solving of problems. How do I turn this clay into a sculpture? How do I portray a particular emotion through dance? How will my character react in this situation? Without even realizing it kids that participate in the arts are consistently being challenged to solve problems. All this practice problem solving develops children’s skills in reasoning and understanding. This will help develop important problem-solving skills necessary for success in any career.

4. Perseverance – When a child picks up a violin for the first time, she/he knows that playing Bach right away is not an option; however, when that child practices, learns the skills and techniques and doesn’t give up, that Bach concerto is that much closer. In an increasingly competitive world, where people are being asked to continually develop new skills, perseverance is essential to achieving success.

5. Focus – The ability to focus is a key skill developed through ensemble work. Keeping a balance between listening and contributing involves a great deal of concentration and focus. It requires each participant to not only think about their role, but how their role contributes to the big picture of what is being created. Recent research has shown that participation in the arts improves children’s abilities to concentrate and focus in other aspects of their lives.

6. Non-Verbal Communication – Through experiences in theater and dance education, children learn to breakdown the mechanics of body language. They experience different ways of moving and how those movements communicate different emotions. They are then coached in performance skills to ensure they are portraying their character effectively to the audience.

7. Receiving Constructive Feedback
– Receiving constructive feedback about a performance or visual art piece is a regular part of any arts instruction. Children learn that feedback is part of learning and it is not something to be offended by or to be taken personally. It is something helpful. The goal is the improvement of skills and evaluation is incorporated at every step of the process. Each arts discipline has built in parameters to ensure that critique is a valuable experience and greatly contributes to the success of the final piece.

8. Collaboration – Most arts disciplines are collaborative in nature. Through the arts, children practice working together, sharing responsibility, and compromising with others to accomplish a common goal. When a child has a part to play in a music ensemble, or a theater or dance production, they begin to understand that their contribution is necessary for the success of the group. Through these experiences children gain confidence and start to learn that their contributions have value even if they don’t have the biggest role.

9. Dedication – When kids get to practice following through with artistic endeavors that result in a finished product or performance, they learn to associate dedication with a feeling of accomplishment. They practice developing healthy work habits of being on time for rehearsals and performances, respecting the contributions of others, and putting effort into the success of the final piece. In the performing arts, the reward for dedication is the warm feeling of an audience’s applause that comes rushing over you, making all your efforts worthwhile.

10. Accountability – When children practice creating something collaboratively they get used to the idea that their actions affect other people. They learn that when they are not prepared or on-time, that other people suffer. Through the arts, children also learn that it is important to admit that you made a mistake and take responsibility for it. Because mistakes are a regular part of the process of learning in the arts, children begin to see that mistakes happen. We acknowledge them, learn from them and move on.

from "The Washington Post"(January 22, 2013)

2014年9月25日 星期四

Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

Why the Progress You Make in the Practice Room Seems to Disappear Overnight

by

 

不要讓你的孩子學習了一門技術,而恨了一門藝術

【不要讓你的孩子學習了一門技術,而恨了一門藝術】
中央音樂學院周海宏院長說過一句話:不要讓你的孩子學習了一門技術,而恨了一門藝術。很多家長都有這樣的困惑⋯⋯
1.我們家孩子特別喜歡音樂,為什麼一開始學琴以後就變得對音樂有抵觸心理了呢?
2.為什麼別人家的孩子可以堅持學習鋼琴,我們家的孩子就半途而廢呢?
3.難道孩子不喜歡音樂了嗎?

其實,答案很簡單》》
1.不是孩子不喜歡音樂了,而是他覺得原本很美的音樂,為什麼突然之間就變成枯燥的手指練習了?
2.為什麼一學習這件樂器,原來可愛的爸爸媽媽就變成兇狠的“大老虎”了?

很多家長認為學習音樂就是簡單的樂器技能學習。其實,如果單單的只是機械的學習樂器,孩子很難真正從樂器的學習中理解到音樂的美,很難感受到音樂帶給生活以及自身氣質的提高。相反,很多孩子會因為這種無聊的樂器學習而排斥原本喜歡的音樂。

》》學習一門樂器確實不是一件簡單的事,為什麼很多孩子放棄了?
1.老師和孩子不合適
這是很重要的一個原因。每個老師有自己的性格,教學特點。在給孩子選老師的時候一定要和老師溝通好,讓老師瞭解孩子的性格,孩子的喜愛。孩子的內心很簡單, 他喜歡你就願意和你說話,即使第一次他有些害羞,但喜歡和厭惡還是能從孩子的臉上看出來。一個孩子喜歡的老師和一個孩子不喜歡的老師,教學成果肯定截然不同。

2.家長輕言放棄
孩子不想練琴,或是嚷嚷著不想學琴的時候,家長便輕易妥協,好吧,不學就不學吧。孩子樂了“我只是這麼一說,爸爸媽媽就真的同意了,哦,原來學習是可以說放棄就放棄的。”這就是大多數孩子的心理。孩子不知道什麼叫堅持,家長難道也不明白嗎?這樣縱容孩子的後果就是孩子一遇到困難就想著放棄。相反,有些家長及時的和老師溝通,及時的調整上課方式上課頻率,多多鼓勵孩子,告訴孩子學習一樣東西就得堅持,遇到困難要勇於面對,努力克服解決,這樣教育出來的孩子一定不會輕言放棄。

3.家長過於心急或功利化,教師魔鬼式突擊拔高
有的家長想很短時間內讓孩子就能演奏很多曲目、或達到幾級幾級,能為考學加分,教師可能會因為家長的執著而改變正常進展的教學方式,易造成揠苗助長的不良後果,很可能導致孩子考完幾級後一輩子也不想碰琴,甚至聽到琴聲在生理上便出現不良反應,恐怕這是家長和教師都不願看到的最壞結果,這對孩子生心理健康成長都造成了很大的負面影響。

轉載自網路文章

中央音樂學院周海宏院長說過一句話:不要讓你的孩子學習了一門技術,而恨了一門藝術。很多家長都有這樣的困惑⋯⋯

1.我們家孩子特別喜歡音樂,為什麼一開始學琴以後就變得對音樂有抵觸心理了呢?
2.為什麼別人家的孩子可以堅持學習鋼琴,我們家的孩子就半途而廢呢?
3.難道孩子不喜...歡音樂了嗎?
其實,答案很簡單》》

1.不是孩子不喜歡音樂了,而是他覺得原本很美的音樂,為什麼突然之間就變成枯燥的手指練習了?
2.為什麼一學習這件樂器,原來可愛的爸爸媽媽就變成兇狠的“大老虎”了?
很多家長認為學習音樂就是簡單的樂器技能學習。其實,如果單單的只是機械的學習樂器,孩子很難真正從樂器的學習中理解到音樂的美,很難感受到音樂帶給生活以及自身氣質的提高。相反,很多孩子會因為這種無聊的樂器學習而排斥原本喜歡的音樂。

》》學習一門樂器確實不是一件簡單的事,為什麼很多孩子放棄了?
1.老師和孩子不合適
這是很重要的一個原因。每個老師有自己的性格,教學特點。在給孩子選老師的時候一定要和老師溝通好,讓老師瞭解孩子的性格,孩子的喜愛。孩子的內心很簡單, 他喜歡你就願意和你說話,即使第一次他有些害羞,但喜歡和厭惡還是能從孩子的臉上看出來。一個孩子喜歡的老師和一個孩子不喜歡的老師,教學成果肯定截然不同。

2.家長輕言放棄
孩子不想練琴,或是嚷嚷著不想學琴的時候,家長便輕易妥協,好吧,不學就不學吧。孩子樂了“我只是這麼一說,爸爸媽媽就真的同意了,哦,原來學習是可以說放棄就放棄的。”這就是大多數孩子的心理。孩子不知道什麼叫堅持,家長難道也不明白嗎?這樣縱容孩子的後果就是孩子一遇到困難就想著放棄。相反,有些家長及時的和老師溝通,及時的調整上課方式上課頻率,多多鼓勵孩子,告訴孩子學習一樣東西就得堅持,遇到困難要勇於面對,努力克服解決,這樣教育出來的孩子一定不會輕言放棄。

3.家長過於心急或功利化,教師魔鬼式突擊拔高
有的家長想很短時間內讓孩子就能演奏很多曲目、或達到幾級幾級,能為考學加分,教師可能會因為家長的執著而改變正常進展的教學方式,易造成揠苗助長的不良後果,很可能導致孩子考完幾級後一輩子也不想碰琴,甚至聽到琴聲在生理上便出現不良反應,恐怕這是家長和教師都不願看到的最壞結果,這對孩子生心理健康成長都造成了很大的負面影響。

自《音樂講堂》(19/9/2014)

A Better Way to Practice

A Better Way to Practice

While it may be true that there are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going, there certainly are ways of needlessly prolonging the journey. We often waste lots of time because nobody ever taught us the most effective and efficient way to practice. Whether it's learning how to code, improving your writing skills, or playing a musical instrument, practicing the right way can mean the difference between good and great.
 
You have probably heard the old joke about the tourist who asks a cab driver how to get to Carnegie Hall, only to be told: "Practice, practice, practice!"
 
I began playing the violin at age two, and for as long as I can remember, there was one question which haunted me every day.
 
Am I practicing enough?

What Do Performers Say?

I scoured books and interviews with great artists, looking for a consensus on practice time that would ease my conscience. I read an interview with Rubinstein, in which he stated that nobody should have to practice more than four hours a day. He explained that if you needed that much time, you probably weren't doing it right.
 
And then there was violinist Nathan Milstein who once asked his teacher Leopold Auer how many hours a day he should be practicing. Auer responded by saying "Practice with your fingers and you need all day. Practice with your mind and you will do as much in 1 1/2 hours."
 
Even Heifetz indicated that he never believed in practicing too much, and that excessive practice is "just as bad as practicing too little!" He claimed that he practiced no more than three hours per day on average, and that he didn't practice at all on Sundays.
It seemed that four hours should be enough. So I breathed easy for a bit. And then I learned about the work of Dr. K. Anders Ericsson.

What Do Psychologists Say?

When it comes to understanding expertise and expert performance, psychologist Dr. Ericsson is perhaps the world's leading authority. His research is the basis for the "10,000-hour rule" which suggests that it requires at least ten years and/or 10,000 hours of deliberate practice to achieve an expert level of performance in any given domain – and in the case of musicians, more like 15-25 years in order to attain an elite international level.
 
Those are some pretty big numbers. So large, that at first I missed the most important factor in the equation.
 
Deliberate practice.
 
Meaning, that there is a specific type of practice that facilitates the attainment of an elite level of performance. And then there's the other kind of practice that most of us are more familiar with.

Mindless Practice

Have you ever observed a musician (or athlete, actor, trial attorney) engage in practice? You'll notice that most practice resembles one of the following distinct patterns.
 
1. Broken record method: This is where we simply repeat the same thing over and over. Same tennis serve. Same passage on the piano. Same powerpoint presentation. From a distance it might look like practice, but much of it is simply mindless repetition.
 
2. Autopilot method: This is where we activate our autopilot system and coast. Recite our sales pitch three times. Play a round of golf. Run through a piece from beginning to end.
 
3. Hybrid method: Then there's the combined approach. For most of my life, practicing meant playing through a piece until I heard something I didn't like, at which point I'd stop, repeat the passage over and over until it started to sound better, and then resume playing until I heard the next thing I wasn't pleased with, at which point I'd repeat the whole process over again.

Three Problems

Unfortunately, there are three problems with practicing this way.
 
1. It's a waste of time: Why? For one, very little productive learning takes place when we practice this way. This is why you can "practice" something for hours, days, or weeks, and still not improve all that much. Even worse, you are actually digging yourself a hole, because what this model of practicing does is strengthen undesirable habits and errors, increasing the likelihood of more consistently inconsistent performances.
 
This also makes it more difficult to clean up these bad habits as time goes on – so you are essentially adding to the amount of future practice time you will need in order to eliminate these undesirable tendencies. To quote a saxophone professor I once worked with: "Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent."
 
2. It makes you less confident: In addition, practicing mindlessly lowers your confidence, as a part of you realizes you don't really know how to produce the results you are looking for. Even if you have a fairly high success rate in the most difficult passages, there's a sense of uncertainty deep down that just won't go away.
 
Real on-stage confidence comes from (a) being able to nail it consistently, (b) knowing that this isn't a coincidence but that you can do it the correct way on demand, because (c) you know precisely why you nail it or miss it – i.e. you have identified the key technical or mechanical factors that are necessary to play the passage perfectly every time.
 
3. It is mind-numbingly dull: Practicing mindlessly is a chore. We've all had well-meaning parents and teachers tell us to go home and practice a certain passage x number of times, or to practice x number of hours, right? But why are we measuring success in units of practice time? What we need are more specific results-oriented outcome goals – such as, practice this passage until it sounds like XYZ, or practice this passage until you can figure out how to make it sound like ABC.

Deliberate Practice

So what is the alternative? Deliberate, or mindful practice is a systematic and highly structured activity, that is, for lack of a better word, more scientific. Instead of mindless trial and error, it is an active and thoughtful process of hypothesis testing where we relentlessly seek solutions to clearly defined problems.
 
Deliberate practice is often slow, and involves repetition of small and very specific sections of a skill instead of just playing through. For example, if you were a musician, you might work on just the opening note of a solo to make sure that it "speaks" exactly the way you want, instead of playing the entire opening phrase.
 
Deliberate practice also involves monitoring one's performance - in real-time and via recordings - continually looking for new ways to improve. This means being observant and keenly aware of what happens, so that you can tell yourself exactly what went wrong. For instance, was the first note note sharp? Flat? Too loud? Too soft? Too harsh? Too short? Too long?
 
Let's say that the note was too sharp and too long with not enough of an attack to begin the note. Well, how sharp was it? A little? A lot? How much longer was the note than you wanted it to be? How much more of an attack did you want?
 
Ok, the note was a little sharp, just a hair too long, and required a much clearer attack in order to be consistent with the marked articulation and dynamics. So, why was the note sharp? What did you do? What do you need to do instead to make sure the note is perfectly in tune every time? How do you ensure that the length is just as you want it to be, and how do you get a consistently clean and clear attack to begin the note so it begins in the right character?
 
Now, let's imagine you recorded each trial repetition, and could listen back to the last attempt. Does that combination of ingredients give you the desired result? Does that combination of elements convey the mood or character you want to communicate to the listener as effectively as you thought it would? Does it help the listener experience what you want them to feel?
 
If this sounds like a lot of work, that's because it is. Which might explain why few take the time to practice this way. To stop, analyze what went wrong, why it happened, and how they can produce different results the next time.
 
Simple though it may sound, it took me years to figure this out. Yet it remains the most valuable and enduring lesson I learned from my 23 years of training. In the dozen or so years since I put down my violin, the principles of deliberate practice have remained relevant no matter what skill I must learn next. Be it the practice of psychology, building an audience for a blog, parenting, or making the perfect smoothie, how I spend my practice time remains more important than how much time I spend practicing.

How to Accelerate Skill Development

Here are the five principles I would want to share with a younger version of myself. I hope you find something of value on this list as well.
 
1. Focus is everything: 
Keep practice sessions limited to a duration that allows you to stay focused. This may be as short as 10-20 minutes, and as long as 45-60+ minutes.
 
2. Timing is everything, too: Keep track of times during the day when you tend to have the most energy. This may be first thing in the morning, or right before lunch. Try to do your practicing during these naturally productive periods, when you are able to focus and think most clearly. What to do in your naturally unproductive times? I say take a guilt-free nap.
 
3. Don't trust your memory: Use a practice notebook. Plan out your practice, and keep track of your practice goals and what you discover during your practice sessions. The key to getting into "flow" when practicing is to constantly strive for clarity of intention. Have a crystal clear idea of what you want (e.g. the sound you want to produce, or particular phrasing you'd like to try, or specific articulation, intonation, etc. that you'd like to be able to execute consistently), and be relentless in your search for ever better solutions.
 
When you stumble onto a new insight or discover a solution to a problem, write it down! As you practice more mindfully, you'll began making so many micro-discoveries that you will need written reminders to remember them all.
 
4. Smarter, not harder: When things aren't working, sometimes we simply have to practice more. And then there are times when it means we have to go in a different direction.
 
I remember struggling with the left-hand pizzicato variation in Paganini's 24th Caprice when I was studying at Juilliard. I kept trying harder and harder to make the notes speak, but all I got was sore fingers, a couple of which actually started to bleed (well, just a tiny bit).
 
Instead of stubbornly persisting with a strategy that clearly wasn't working, I forced myself to stop. I brainstormed solutions to the problem for a day or two, and wrote down ideas as they occurred to me. When I had a list of some promising solutions, I started experimenting.
 
I eventually came up with a solution that worked, and the next time I played for my teacher, he actually asked me to show him how I made the notes speak so clearly!
 
5. Stay on target with a problem-solving model: 
It's extraordinarily easy to drift into mindless practice mode. Keep yourself on task using the 6-step problem solving model below.
  • Define the problem. (What result did I just get? What do I want this note/phrase to sound like instead?)
  • Analyze the problem. (What is causing it to sound like this?)
  • Identify potential solutions. (What can I tweak to make it sound more like I want?)
  • Test the potential solutions and select the most effective one. (What tweaks seem to work best?)
  • Implement the best solution. (Reinforce these tweaks to make the changes permanent.)
  • Monitor implementation. (Do these changes continue to produce the results I'm looking for?
  • Make Your Time Count

    It doesn't matter if we are talking about perfecting violin technique, improving your golf game, becoming a better writer, improving your marketing skills, or becoming a more effective surgeon.
  •  
    Life is short. Time is our most valuable commodity. If you're going to practice, you might as well do it right.
  •  
    The Most Valuable Lesson I Learned From Playing the Violin | Creativity Post

    Noa Kageyama is a Juilliard-trained violinist turned sport & performance psychologist. He specializes in teaching performing artists how to perform up to their full abilities under pressure.
from 'Life Hacker" (31/8/2012)

音樂課助人突破階級困境:足量才有效

音樂課助人突破階級困境:足量才有效

已有許多證據顯示,貧窮造成的持續壓力會阻礙腦部發育,但新的研究也指出,弱勢孩童如果參與「趣味的挑戰」,將能逐漸強化其神經發展,而這種「趣味的挑戰」就是音樂課。

該研究發現,居住在洛杉磯幫派興盛區的6~9歲孩童中,參與自由音樂建構課程達兩年者,處理特定音節的速度比其它較少受到音樂訓練的同儕要快。研究報告的第一作者——美國西北大學Nina Kraus教授認為:「這份研究顯示社區音樂計劃能夠重塑孩童的腦部,優化處理聲音的過程,而這能增進學習與語言使用的技巧」,此報告已見於神經科學學刊 (Journal of Neuroscience) 。

研究團隊追蹤44位洛杉磯公共學校的學生三年,他們都居住在幫派出沒的地區。其中有18位學生在第一年參加了Harmony Project音樂訓練計劃,經過約半年的入門音樂課程 (每週兩次、每次一小時的基礎課) ,再進入分組樂器課程,另外26位學生則在一年之後才開始基礎音樂課程。

每學年終了時,這些學生都要參加神經生理學測試,研究者從中了解他們的腦部能夠多快分辨ba與ga兩種聲音的差異。他們發現:「經過兩年訓練的孩子在分辨音節的神經反應上大有長進。在兩組學生之中,受到較多的音樂訓練者,其神經功能也隨之增強。這顯示音樂訓練能夠轉化到非音樂方面的整體聽覺上,並能自然影響其對聲音的處理過程。」這種進步對日常生活的溝通多有助益。

以往的研究顯示,在群體中比較擅於閱讀及在噪音中聽力較優異者,在神經系統上對於上述音節都有更強的區別能力。這份研究因此也說明了社團及聯課活動中的音樂課程能夠增強神經系統功能。

更值得注意的是,研究者發現,這種效果在受試者接受滿兩年的訓練後才會顯現,如果課上得不夠多,是沒有用的。
自《muzik online》(18/9/2014)

職業音樂家的健康問題

職業音樂家的健康問題

《Help Musicians UK》近期訪問英國552位職業音樂家,了解他們的壓力和困擾。受訪者男女比例相近,其中將近60%在古典音樂領域工作,另有來自爵士和民族音樂工作者,還有從事流行和搖滾樂。

困擾他們最大的問題是:反社會的工作時間。音樂人常常是白天休息,晚上工作(例如:音樂會在晚上開演,晚上的家教課,晚上在俱樂部當伴奏...等),有84%受訪者認因為工作時間和一般人相反,因而影響他們的正常社交,更甚者,或有可能導致心理問題,孤獨和人際關係相處困難。

隨之而來的狀況是,無法定時進食,三餐不正常,且長期缺乏運動,並與家人和伴侶關係緊繃。

82%受訪者坦言有經濟問題。英國生活指數高,物價昂貴,然而,音樂人薪資所得卻不盡理想。超過一半的音樂工作者年薪低於兩萬英鎊(約新台幣100萬)。更糟的是,因為工作不穩定,常是過了這個村就沒那個店,高達80%的音樂人擔心沒有工作。

音樂可以怡養性情教化人心,但實際情況是,職業音樂家的身心狀態並不健康,多數因經年累月練習患有職業傷害,也有精神抑鬱問題,45%嚴重酗酒,另外14%藥物濫用。

這份調查報告與近期由大提琴演奏家Rachael Lander現身說法的紀錄片《Addicts' Symphony》相呼應。Lander揭露:「(藥物或酒精)成癮問題在古典音樂人之間屢見不鮮,生活方式、工作時間不固定、週末無休、音樂會後的社交活動都是造成這種現象的潛在因素。很多演奏家用酒精或阻斷劑來控制演出的焦慮,但表演的高潮過後,他們就必須與自己的低潮奮戰,於是他們選擇用酒精來放鬆一下,經久成習。」


自《Muzik online》(19/9/2014)

時間到了,必須完成嗎?

時間到了,必須完成嗎?

前幾天,太太向我訴苦,說每天工作太忙,時間,體力不夠用,以前不是當家長,自己顧自己,沒有這個煩惱,但是,一旦有孩子,時間好像加速似的流過。

最近,一位鋼琴家老師也向我訴說,香港的孩子練琴時間太少,少得讓她驚訝,一年下來,只能仔細完全三,兩首樂曲,教學上充滿困難,但為了質素,只能寧慢保質。

不知道大家家中有沒有這個鐘,我家中便有一個,通常,它是用來告訴參賽者,你可以開始作賽了,或是,你可以停止了!

現代的孩子,一出生就像被放在跑道上,與時間競賽,生怕落後於人,可是,若以學琴為例,並非說快便能快,而是要花大量時間處理基礎問題,且要看孩子是否生,心理有足夠準備。

親身嘗試過做家長,都知道心很急,但是作為長遠培養孩子,要多了解甚麼的學習速度,數量才是適合孩子,而不是跟隨别人的進度,很多時,慢並非即是差,既然每天沒有花足夠的時間,或是本身未有足夠條件,便很難追求學習速度了,速度與質量那個重要?若是苟且學習,早晚會倒下。

所以,在每天追趕時間的同時,多考慮追趕的目的,是質素還是速度,時間一分一秒過去,若是你真是希望在某一方面有成果,便多分配在這方面,用心按方法去做,老老實實下苦工,時間是公平的,每人每天24小時,沒有那人可以例外呢!

前幾天,太太向我訴苦,說每天工作太忙,時間,體力不夠用,以前不是當家長,自己顧自己,沒有這個煩惱,但是,一旦有孩子,時間好像加速似的流過。

最近,一位鋼琴家老師也向我訴說,香港的孩子練琴時間太少,少得讓她驚訝,一年下來,只能仔細完全三,兩首樂曲,教學上充滿困難,但為了質素,只能寧慢保質。

不知道大家家中有沒有這個鐘,我家中便有一個,通常,它是用來告訴參賽者,你可以開始作賽了,或是,你可以停止了!

現代的孩子,一出生就像被放在跑道上,與時間競賽,生怕落後於人,可是,若以學琴為例,並非說快便能快,而是要花大量時間處理基礎問題,且要看孩子是否生,心理有足夠準備。

親身嘗試過做家長,都知道心很急,但是作為長遠培養孩子,要多了解甚麼的學習速度,數量才是適合孩子,而不是跟隨别人的進度,很多時,慢並非即是差,既然每天沒有花足夠的時間,或是本身未有足夠條件,便很難追求學習速度了,速度與質量那個重要?若是苟且學習,早晚會倒下。

所以,在每天追趕時間的同時,多考慮追趕的目的,是質素還是速度,時間一分一秒過去,若是你真是希望在某一方面有成果,便多分配在這方面,用心按方法去做,老老實實下苦工,時間是公平的,每人每天24小時,沒有那人可以例外呢!

自《Calvin's Violin Studio》(23 September 2014)

Conductor Christopher Hogwood dies aged 73

Christopher Hogwood
Hogwood founded the Academy of Ancient Music in 1973

British conductor Christopher Hogwood has died aged 73.

He died at his home in Cambridge following an illness lasting several months, a statement on his website said.

It added his funeral will be private, with a memorial service to be held at a later date.

Hogwood worked with many leading orchestras around the world and was considered one of the most influential exponents of the early-music movement.

The conductor founded the Academy of Ancient Music (AAM) in 1973 and directed the academy across six continents for some 30 years.

The AAM also made more than 200 CDs, including the first-ever complete cycle of Mozart symphonies on period instruments.

Among his most famous recordings include the 1980 version of Handel's Messiah with Emma Kirkby and Carolyn Watkinson, which was named by BBC Music Magazine as one of the top 20 recordings of all time.

Hogwood studied keyboard at Cambridge University with Rafael Puyana and Mary Potts and later with Zuzana Ruzickova and Gustav Leonhardt.

His first positions were as a keyboard player and musicologist with the Academy of Saint Martin-in-the-Fields under Sir Neville Marriner, and was a founder member of the Early Music Consort of London.

He was the artistic director of the King's Lynn Festival and Boston's Handel and Haydn Society. He was also a tutor at Harvard University, honorary professor of music at the University of Cambridge and a professor-at-large at Cornell University in the US.

"Christopher had extraordinary generosity of spirit," Christopher Purvis, honorary president of the AAM, said.

"He was a great ambassador for historically informed music, the movement of which he was a founder. And he was happy to see the orchestra he founded develop and grow after he stepped down as director."

The AAM's music director Richard Egarr added: "I am deeply saddened by the news of Christopher's passing. Christopher provided a fantastic legacy for me to build upon when I joined in 2006 and I know he will be greatly missed by all who knew and worked with him."

Speaking to Sean Rafferty on Radio 3's In Tune, soprano Dame Emma Kirkby said: "Some of the best players that now lead orchestras all over the world, they started with him.

"Chris was a natural academic, an incredibly clever man. He had an amazing capacity to absorb information of all kinds and a really sure sense of how things would be if he really tried to reproduce conditions... a very genial person."

David Thomas from Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, London added: "He always said I want the music to speak for itself because it can, it's good enough, it will… a very pleasant and lovely man."

from BBC News (




2014年6月12日 星期四

學音樂有什麼「用」?


很多家長寧願孩子早早開始學習英文、心算、電腦,有利於「啟發心智」的學科,以便提早適應競爭越來越激烈的未來社會。至於學音樂嘛,最多也只是希望能藉由習得一技之長,音樂才有所用。果真如此,那麼許多曾經接受音樂教育,後來卻不是音樂家或音樂老師的,是不是白白浪費了那段習樂、愛樂的人生呢?

  當然不是。音樂不同於科學,它是一種情操教育,著重在潛移默化和涵養氣質,但它與科學一樣的有組織、有結構、有條理,也可以訓練人的思考,啟發人的心智。

  因此我們可以重新思考音樂的特質:
音樂具有瞬間即逝的時間特質,所以隨著音樂進行,大腦的活動也是持續不斷在進行的。
音樂具有強弱交替的節奏特質,配合韻律或舞步,促進身心的和諧平衡。
音樂具有人我交融的群育特質,合奏或演奏中可培養觀察他人、包容他人的情操。

  這樣的「學音樂」觀念,比較趨向於人格的養成。透過音樂來學習,孩子會有一個全面開闊的心靈視野。

  培養一位音樂專才,除了孩子本身具備的秉賦之外,還需要很多條件與際遇的配合;但是,如果能藉著接觸音樂,培育一個樂觀進取、勇於學習的孩子,他的未來,是不是更無可限量呢?

(本文經蔣老師同意轉載自其著作《音樂親子遊》(揚智文化出版公司))

作者:蔣理容

自《奇蜜育兒 GO GO GO》

2014年6月11日 星期三

彈它千遍也不厭倦 - 從快樂學琴到快樂練琴

十幾年前,有兩句非常聳動的廣告詞:「不要讓孩子輸在起跑點上!」和「孩子!我要你將來比我強!」到了今天,新好爸爸們說:「爸爸站在你這邊。」多年以來,年輕父母對孩子的期待和價值觀有了極大的轉變。

  以「學琴」這件事來說,過去的父母比較嚴厲,他們陪伴、逼迫等,出發點不外是「望子成龍,望女成鳳」。而現代父母,本身已是六○年代出生的,受民主思潮洗禮的新人類了,對自己孩子的學習,更是抱持「自然」、「沒有壓力」、「快樂學習」的心態來看待。於是流風所及的各式學派,都標榜著「開放、啟發」、「寓教於樂」等,老師也無不盡量以「引起興趣」為目的。

  然而,快樂學習是萬靈丹嗎?以故事、遊戲吸引孩子喜歡學琴,然後呢?接踵而來的技法、熟練度、知識等,卻需要一番「錘鍊」工夫,遠非開始時的趣味所能比擬。於是乎:「他很喜歡上課,就是不愛練習。」或:「去練、去練!每一首彈二十遍才可以!」很多家庭因此引起爭戰,而放棄學習也是必然的了。

  當決定讓孩子學琴的同時,也規畫出培養練琴的習慣,是值得現代父母用心去思考的課題:
安排一個不干擾家人作息的時間與空間讓孩子練琴,然後在這個範圍內盡可能的執行,不要找理由輕易改變。
最好有一個固定的家人或稍微瞭解他的狀況的人,當他練琴時偶爾讚美(鼓勵)或打氣,如:「這一段好像比昨天彈得更順了。」或:「這禮拜如果改掉小指倒下的毛病,老師會不會給你貼紙?」(提醒),也讓孩子感覺練習並不孤單。
和孩子一起「聽」(欣賞)他彈出來的音樂,當他用心表達樂曲的內容時,反覆練習就不致枯燥乏味。

  最後,別忘了「成就感」永遠是最大的支持動力,讓孩子感覺自己今天比昨天做得更好,有一點點進步,累積的成就感將化為「行動力」,幫他克服下一個難關。

  要孩子成為音樂或音樂專家,需要很多機緣與條件配合。但如果因著「快快樂樂的『練』琴」,而練出了恆心、耐心、毅力,以及對事負責的態度。那麼,為人父母者終將可以欣然的說:孩子,我給了你最好的!

(本文經蔣老師同意轉載自其著作《音樂親子遊》(揚智文化出版公司))


作者:蔣理容

自《》

2014年6月10日 星期二

陪著孩子快樂學音樂

「怎樣學習音樂?」
  「怎樣快樂的學習音樂?」
  「怎樣快樂的學習音樂,並且永遠喜愛音樂?」

  各有不同的境界。而其中,陪著孩子「快樂學音樂」更是現代父母最直接可行,促進親子良性互動的理想方式之一。

  請注意這個「陪」字 - 學習的主體是孩子
  快樂學習是過程 - 而主導這一切的是父母

  學音樂的範圍很廣,彈琴、唱歌是,跳舞和遊戲也是;吹笛、表演是,創作和欣賞也是。所以,常聽很多家長抱怨:「起初興致勃勃學得起勁,後來就懶得練習。」「功課太忙,只好放棄了。」這就是將學音樂侷限在「學會哪一項才藝」的死胡同裏。當遇到了瓶頸,遭到了挫折,或對學習不再覺得新鮮有趣時,便中斷了持續喜愛它的機會。

  在孩子學習的路上「陪」他一段,倒不是孩子學什麼,你必須樣樣都會。而是如果要他學音樂,你得自己也親近音樂,甚至藝術文學;要求他用功,你也得好學。自己保持求知向上的心,才可以用欣賞和鼓勵,代替催促和責罵。

  生活在親子同樂、共擁書香的家庭裏,孩子自然會開朗、有禮、自愛,也知上進。而父母呢?重溫成長的喜悅,陪著孩子再成長一次,將會感覺生命更加美好。

(本文經蔣老師同意轉載自其著作《音樂親子遊》(揚智文化出版公司))

作者:蔣理容
 
                                             
自《奇蜜育兒 GO GO GO》
                                       
 
 

2014年6月9日 星期一

一起搖擺玩音樂

2、3歲開始,寶寶已漸漸突破既有認知裡的空間與時間限制,因此會喜愛玩想像遊戲。而關於想像遊戲,其實我們可以不用想的得太複雜;因為只要利用布偶、繪畫、或音樂…等媒材,就可以幫助孩子發揮無限的想像,進入另一種不同感覺的世界。

然就音樂而言,不論有沒有旋律,就算只有咚咚咚的節拍,都還是可以製造出遊戲的情境;如果再循著年齡的成長,加上說明、與不同程度的音樂刺激,就能更輕易的帶孩子進入運用「聲音」想像的範疇內。從小培養對音樂敏感,不僅是一種活動的培養,還可以藉著音樂更貼近到自己的心情唷!

如何帶孩子玩音樂遊戲
  
就算小寶寶還在努力讓自己的步伐更穩定,就算還常常是「碰!」一聲,就跌坐在地上,他們仍然還是喜歡在音樂響起時,隨意甩手、擺頭、彎腰、或蹲蹲站站、蹦蹦跳跳;像是完全沉醉音樂的快樂中!那麼要如何延續寶寶在音樂中的感覺呢?

1.快的、慢的音樂,都是音樂。
有人可能認為快節奏的音樂,才比較適合用在寶寶律動上;但其實慢音樂也是相當適合的。這麼比喻吧:像是「風」,有徐徐微風,有急急颶風。而如果用音樂節奏表現,當然就會不同。

2.選首屬於自己家的「family songs」吧!
這歌,最好是寶寶很熟悉、會跟著唱的。並將這音樂、歌曲,搭配上動作、遊戲、甚至是不同的拍子。例如:兩隻老虎可以唱成--三隻、四隻…。一隻沒有耳朵、一隻沒有尾巴…可以唱成--一隻沒有眼睛、一隻沒有嘴巴…。還可以把跑得慢、跑得慢唱成--跑得快、跑得快…。寶寶發現之中的變化,就會覺得很好玩!另外再運用身體上的任何部位數拍子:拍手、踏腳、扭腰、擺臀,加上快慢、輕重轉化,增加肢體與節奏結合的趣味性。

3.可以只是放音樂,只是靜靜的聽;然後讓孩子說出對音樂的感覺是什麼。
可能是很快的、很急躁的、很生氣的…;也可能是很慢的、很溫柔的、很輕飄飄的…。帶孩子做的,就只是說。說完了,或許還可以寫下來、畫下來。

4.身體跟著音樂動吧!
快的、急躁的、生氣的,像什麼?像老虎在跑嗎?老虎怎麼跑?怎麼叫?還是像颱風?風呼呼呼的吹,都把大樹吹倒了!吹到左邊、又吹到右邊…,哇!又下起大雨啦!快去躲起來!這就像是在演一齣音樂劇呢!不同的音樂,有不一樣的表演方式;我們可以先帶著孩子做幾種,再來,就讓孩子自己來想,我們跟著做囉!

可以帶孩子玩的音樂遊戲當然不只這些。總之音樂本身就是很廣泛而且自由的,因此用音樂玩的遊戲就會是很自由自在的。記得:跟著音樂動,就對了!

小太陽親子音樂派對來囉!邀請1.5歲~3歲的親子歌唱、遊戲和律動。

作者:奇蜜親子網專業編輯
 
自《奇蜜育兒 GO GO GO》
 
 
 

2014年6月8日 星期日

沒有音樂細胞怎麼辦?

  「孩子沒有音樂細胞怎麼辦?」父母會有這類的焦慮,多半來自:

◇ 我四歲的孩子,上了半年的音樂班,怎麼還不會看譜呢?
◇ 我們夫妻兩個都是「五音不全」的人,孩子大概也會是個「音盲」?
◇ 他不愛聽音樂,是不是沒有「音樂細胞」?

  其實,「音感」與「音樂感」,是屬於不同層次的能力;同樣的,「音盲」與「音符盲」,也是不一樣的問題。從教育理念來探討,除了耳聾的人以外,事實上不會有任何一個真正的「音盲」或「沒有音樂細胞」的人。有些孩子也許是個音符盲,不認得音符名稱,但是卻有絕佳的音樂感,具有體會音樂的本能。

  每個孩子的成長,都有自己的時間表,尤其在「認知」方面。對於一般四、五歲的孩子而言,可能連歸類「第三線的音」、「第二間的音」都成問題,更何況它的音名是什麼,唱名又是什麼;但對一個十歲的孩子來說,理解它們就容易得多了。

  試想,一群孩童經常一起玩耍,彼此不一定確知「他是王小明,他是李大偉…」,但他們一定有自己的方式來認得玩伴,如「那個綁辮子的女孩,那個胖胖的男生」,或「每次愛打人的那個小孩」…… 同樣的,幼兒不一定能指出「那是ㄉㄛ,那是ㄈㄚ」,但如果他能抓住音樂旋律的線條,或感應音樂節奏的腳步,將更能享受到音樂帶給他身心俱爽的愉快感覺。

(本文經蔣老師同意轉載自其著作《音樂親子遊》(揚智文化出版公司))

作者:蔣理容
 
自《奇蜜育兒 GO GO GO》
 
 
 

2014年6月7日 星期六

學音樂好處多?爸媽態度是關鍵

父母都希望自己的孩子成龍成鳳,由於不願孩子輸在起跑點上,許多人在孩子還小的時候,就安排他學習才藝,而音樂,就是頗受爸媽青睞的一項。然而,並非每位爸媽自己都有接觸音樂的經驗;選擇給孩子學音樂,只因那是時勢所趨,如果不學,似乎表示自己的孩子技不如人。

  其實,給孩子學音樂,不單只是讓他不輸別人而已,它還有許多積極的意義喔!只不過,爸媽的態度,卻是這些功能能否發揮的主要因素。

陶冶性情,培養氣質。這是許多家長讓孩子學音樂最主要、也是最冠冕堂皇的理由。這樣的理由固然有幾分道理,但它也必須建立在孩子本身對音樂的感受力及興趣上。音樂或能培養溫和個性,但若孩子每次都在爸媽厲聲命令後,才心不甘情不願地練琴,心裡只想快點完成任務,無法全心融入音樂之中,那麼音樂陶冶性情的作用也可能大打折扣。

宣洩情緒。孩子日漸成長,會開始被要求遵守行為規範;當面臨心理掙扎、衝突時,和大人一樣,也需要發洩的管道。演奏樂器可以是極佳的紓解良方,只是,如果爸媽在孩子學習過程中要求過多,給孩子壓力過大,反而會使學音樂本身變成了孩子情緒問題的來源。

鍛練全身協調能力。演奏樂器不只運用視覺及聽覺而已,它是融合腦、眼、耳、手、腳等的活動,對促進孩子身體各部分的協調發展,有很大的幫助。如果爸媽能讓孩子在愉快的情境下主動學習,將可達到最佳的發展與學習效果。

休閒娛樂。娛樂是音樂最基本的功能,也應該是孩子學樂器時最容易達成的目的;但是,往往爸媽偏差的態度,卻造成了反效果。許多爸媽對孩子期望過高,在孩子學樂器的過程中施予太大的壓力,使得學音樂反而變成孩子的負擔。其實,如果爸媽抱著只是讓孩子體驗音樂之美的心態,就算孩子表現得不怎麼樣,至少他保持了對音樂的興趣,這才是學才藝最重要的收獲。

  最後要再強調的是,學習音樂固然不錯,但如果孩子實在沒興趣,爸媽也不應該採用強迫的方式。畢竟每個孩子都有各自的潛能與長處,不學音樂,還有許多其他的發展。為孩子找出真正的興趣,並支持他善加發揮長才,這才是爸媽最該為孩子做的事!


作者:奇蜜親子網專業編輯

自《奇蜜育兒 GO GO GO》

2014年6月6日 星期五

『 學音樂 』不只是學樂器

在台灣,從音樂系音樂班的投考,各種比賽與大大小小的檢定....學音樂似乎成了「望子成龍,望女成鳳」的栽培計畫之一
學音樂,原本是一件美好事情!!因著這些效率的教學,成了競爭的劣質商品。何時,大家忘記『 學音樂 』為的是豐富心靈。

這些學習,能否讓這些學習者成為愛樂者或提升喜愛的興趣 ? 能否讓孩子喘口氣,大口大口的呼吸 ?


音樂中的『休止符』與『音符』有著同等的創造力;懂得『空白』,樂句才能不斷的延續。
各個領域的學習都有著一樣的問題:『功利主義』,澆熄認真老師的熱情。『被迫的練習』,影響著親子關係。

這些環環相扣、惡性交融的習性,正破壞著學音樂的美意。老師的教學與學生的互動,無不影響著『學音樂』是否真的帶來更好的生命 ?

常遇到家長問我為何對孩子學音樂的事不太積極!或者,應不應該考音樂班的事情。

大概受了『 學音樂的孩子不會變壞 』這句名言的影響,所以,學琴的人口真的不少。

不過,我知道部份學習景況為指導者努力教學生學會『彈琴』,但不一定為『音樂教育』;因此,『彈琴』像是打『電腦鍵盤』一般。父母要求孩子練習時也會弄壞情緒,變成搶救親情大作戰!

我很主觀的認為,學樂器前一定要先懂得欣賞。

樂器,是學習表達的工具,若沒有想表達的企圖心,練琴不過是『手指頭的運動』。不好的學習經驗,將原本可以成為孩子一生好朋友的音樂變成惡夢,碰都不想碰。

音樂其實沒有絕對的對錯,就像學英文,入門若是從枯燥的文法開始操練,那麼,學音樂應該會蠻無趣!因此,先學習喜歡音樂的聲音、音樂的欣賞,等待成熟時,學習音樂的文法會比較容易一些。

我仍然堅持,學音樂是豐富生命經驗的媒介

現在的孩子承擔高競爭力的壓力,作為父母不僅僅是鼓勵,還有舒解壓力!管道除了親近大然外,學音樂與藝術教育,是不錯的選擇。因此,別讓學音樂成為另一個壓力,這是我的苦口婆心。

我所認知的自主學習是孩子對學習事物充滿好奇,因為好奇、有趣、所以想親近

家中逸仔 一開始並非找某某名師;但幸運的是,她遇到了一位充滿熱情且盡責的小提琴老師,讓家中孩子對小提琴學出興趣;對於尋找師資,我會避免教授『手指運動』的指導者,這是我個人的淺見。

我們在生活上的音樂欣賞,早上聽詩歌或莫差特起床、放學回家聽貝多芬與蕭邦、外加七公主 ( 韓國小女生團體)、睡覺前聽巴哈或葛立格,這些音樂都是孩子自己選擇的,我這位音樂人的媽不會參與太多的意見。

假日偶爾彈琴娛樂大家,例如《拉赫曼尼洛夫》外加《不能說的祕密》(還是向大學部的學生借譜印的) 或是聽音練習 ( 孩子們哼唱曲調要記下,還幫他們編曲。然後孩子以為是自己作曲,高興到不行 ),真是苦了我的耳朵和腦力!

最近昕仔因看了不能說的祕密,劇中《鬥琴》那段激發了他想學琴的動力。但我尚未實行,等到有一天他『求』 我,我才會答應;因為這是『他的』決定,而不是『我的』決定;也就是說,練琴是他必須面對的責任。

一位家長訴說他的孩子學習音樂過程很有意思 : 當初夫妻兩人單純地想像著,假日在客廳喝茶、聽著孩子彈琴拉琴,享受愉悅的一天。後來孩子進了音樂班,假日聽到母親喊『練琴』的咆哮聲 → 緊接著孩子心不甘、情不願的用力彈琴 → 母親的怒罵斥責聲 → 孩子回房間用力關門與哭泣聲,與當初想像的畫面完全不同。

意料外的音樂比賽壓力,還有學科與補習,孩子幾乎每天睡眠不足,不只孩子熬家長也在熬!有時還會因著遇到不適合的老師傷腦筋,這過程令人覺得學琴似乎充滿壓力。

我任教於各個年齡層的音樂班與音樂系領域,見多了許多才子才女,能克服種種狀況維持初衷的熱情有多少 ??? 這個舞台需要的是實力與機會,許多才子才女有實力卻未必有機會,但有機會卻沒實力得演奏也挺不下去。

這個舞台很殘酷,無論是表演或者教學,只要自己或者學生們表現不如意,下學期就必須說再見,教學能力也必須不斷受到檢驗。所以,要維持熱情、懂行情、知道考試難與易,還要對學生用心努力、對家長交代盡力。

學音樂很好,關起房門練琴是必須,因為基本功需要練習。但是,練習之外需要想想天與地、別人與自己、還有那未知的生命

我看到許多莘莘學子們,對於演奏器樂,使用頭腦、身體、手指、腳趾一起運用尚無問題,但除了五線譜以外的空間卻不大行。

也許,讀譜練譜佔據太多專注力!

但是,音樂的天地何等廣大,怎能只知道音的高低就行 ?

我知道在不同時間,我的教學會因著生活不同的體會而改變。

有一年,我學習了弗來明哥舞,感受到全身肌肉『一起上』的爆發力,因此卯起來要學生半蹲吹奏練習,學習運用大腿的支撐力,與全身肌肉張力的運用。

看到舞者提臂的美感,因此要求學生注意肩膀到手臂力量的練習,留心舞台上的演奏儀態。這些意外的學習與體會,讓我對教學有種『好極了』的天外飛來一筆。但是,並非每一位學生都領情,有些只要成績好就可以。我想的是未來,學生想的卻是現在!

不知看慣才子才女的指導者,用何種眼光對待未來自己所教出的子弟兵。

我思考著『傳承』問題,我體悟的道理是,所有教學方法可能被更新,老師敬不敬業的態度會留在腦子裡。

就像我最喜愛的知名卡內基音樂廳獨奏家,也是我就讀博士班的指導老師魯卡瑞里先生,與他共處的時間最短,對我的影響卻最為深刻。對我而言,他不僅是一位指導者,也是一位熱愛生命的愛樂人!

技術不一定傳承,風範卻會留下

家長或朋友問 : 學音樂,有沒有投資報酬率 ? 我說,對於現實而言,賺錢絕對不一定....但生命的實踐價值絕對『 物超所值 』與可行....

因為
音樂,是另一種『 語言 』,幫助你聽到世界的另一種聲音
音樂,是另一種『 以文會友 』,認識原本不會交集的我和你

自《米家的慢走與樂活》(26/10/2009)

青春名人堂/焦元溥:學音樂,就該去聽音樂會

【聯合報╱焦元溥】
在音樂廳巧遇鵬博藝術的總經理兼執行長兼藝術總監兼行政總監兼工友領班徐鵬博,他果然瘦了一大圈。說「果然」,是因為知道他兩周前因肝指數過高而突然昏倒,緊急送往醫院治療而住院數天。但我所不知道的,是狀況其實相當危急,他真的在鬼門關前走了一遭。出院後,徐鵬博從此很多事都不能做了:不能熬夜,不能喝酒,不能吃加工食物,不能跑那麼多通告,不能讓自己太累。面對接下來的諸多音樂會,他還沒想好該如何應對。和許多在音樂經紀公司努力奮鬥的從業人員一樣,政大歷史研究所畢業的徐鵬博並非科班出身,而是純粹愛樂者。因為對音樂的愛勝過一切,所以到唱片公司任職,最後更索性辦起經紀公司,把心儀的音樂家介紹到台灣。在他開業前我們曾經見過一次。我告知諸多問題並給予三大結論:「醒醒吧!快放棄!不要做!」一年以後,只見徐鵬博感嘆我當時的告誡全數應驗,而他最納悶也最不能相信的,是「為什麼台灣有那麼多人學音樂,那麼多音樂班,學生卻不來聽音樂會呢?」我不知道答案。我愛音樂也愛聽音樂會,這理所當然,但我還在念國際關係的時候,台大法學院或佛萊契爾學院有任何相關演講或會議,我也都盡可能參加。我的同學也是如此。常常下了課,就呼朋引伴一起去聽演講。我們真的都想從政,或對政治有那麼大的興趣嗎?當然不是。但作為政治系的學生,我們普遍認為這是我們應該要有的學習。記得有次系上請了位柏克萊的教授演講,我和同學如臨大敵,在家努力練習英文會話,到現場怯生生地自我介紹並提問。結結巴巴說完一圈,這位教授竟笑著用中文回答──我到現在都還記得當時大家目瞪口呆,又覺得被擺了一道的傻樣。但我們的英文與應對能力,不也就是這樣慢慢練成的?我還不知道為何台灣學音樂的學生(和其家長),普遍不去聽音樂會。只是可以確定的,是常去聽音樂會的學生,雖不必然在音樂上有成就,但不去聽音樂會的學生,必然在音樂上不會有成就。畢竟,對自己的專業領域缺乏好奇,也不觀摩這個領域的名家,要想學得好,還真是緣木求魚。說到底,對學音樂的人而言,聽音樂會其實是本分啊!
【2014/04/22 聯合報】

2014年6月5日 星期四

不要害怕孩子輸在起跑點

在台灣的父母總是多著幾分焦慮,也許是因著媒體報章的影響,也許是唯有讀書高的教育觀。教育觀,不是能在每一個餐桌上討論的問題,因為家家有本難念的經,它代表著一個家庭的價值觀。


親身的經歷
孩子在進入小學前,我並沒有給予各類科目的刻意學習,這當中包括識字與正音;因我個人認為這些所謂的能力,是孩子有一天「一定」能學會的東西。
我相信著「強摘的果兒,瓜不田!」
凡物的生長必有其時序,不需急著提前學習;得其時,庄稼也必豐收。
每個孩子有著自己的生長時間,也許大人的操之過及反而壞了孩子的特質與天性。


但不免俗的,我常遇到一些質疑:
為何孩子沒有優越的識字能力?孩子在進入小學時,甚至是目不識丁?
為何孩子不會背九九乘法與熟練的加減能力?
為何他們沒有提前學習英文與ㄅㄆㄇ正音?
甚至在進入小學前,我們不斷的被各個補習班恐嚇著:「進入小學前,沒有好好學會這些基本的能力,你便落伍了,功課會趕不上,你的孩子會失去競爭力!」
麥可‧ 克萊頓曾說:「恐嚇是達到效果最好的方式,卻是最卑鄙的方式。」
不實的訊息會造成父母的恐慌,親子關係的衝突與緊張。
以訛傳訛的教育方式需要有智慧的父母判斷與選擇

靈巧的雙手,就有靈巧的思考
以我個人的觀點,從事手工遊戲時,可以讓孩子對事物有多元的連結思考。
我們都知道,在成人世界中,凡事都有先後的順序與一定的邏輯。孩子透過手工藝、拼圖、組中模型的練習與遊戲,可以獲得意志力的鍛鍊,與創造力的發揮與邏輯的學習。
孩子藉由這些繽紛作品的建立,呈現他們對周遭環境的敏感、好奇。
為人母的我,也因著孩子不同年齡的作品呈現,發現孩子的視覺與美感經驗在改變!


慢慢熟的學習與教育
從小,我便不是一個慢慢的孩子,效率與速度對我而言是一件最基本的事情。
快速將鋼琴練好、功課寫好、考試考好...我便可以作自己想做的事情。也許正因為這樣的態度,對事情的解決失去等待的耐性,因不夠沈著而失去理性,因龜毛的完美主義與效率,折騰了身邊一起工作的夥伴與自己。
這些的尖銳,因著孩子的出生,我願意被改變。
孩子,是母親生命中的蝸牛因為愛他們,我願意放慢自己的速度,用相同的高度陪同他們一起看風景。
當然,我們也不應該小看了孩子;他們其實並非我們想像中的簡單。我們若以平等的心,平等對待,那麼孩子對於夢想的實踐也更為接近。
當孩子在學習識字的階段時,我沒有強迫孩子背誦字的型與音。
我直覺的認為,既然中文是由象形文字演變而來,那麼先學習型的了解,是我對學習識字的註解。與孩子討論字形的演變,讓他們繪製圖型,是我認為的實際。
我所添購的書籍《字源演變》,內容有著豐富的文字故事,讓孩子明白:文字,不是莫名的由來,而是有著深刻的文化與內涵。
對於數學,我的認知,它必須與生活建立實用的關係。
此時許多同學忙著學習珠心算、各類數學競賽的有效學習。我讓孩子在7-11與超市學習買東西:
從找錢中學加減,給予孩子購物的預算—學習物品數量的分配與倍數概念。


當大家忙著背誦千字文,弟子規與唐詩三百首時,我們忙著散步,流連於花草巷弄間,從大自然的觀察中學習觀察。
在生活中,孩子看著雲端的變化說故事,他們有著無邊無際的想像力。孩子用著簡單而誠摯的用詞與圖形,畫下一本本自己的手工書繪本。
脫口而出的哼唱、趴趴造的看展覽,這些都是在生活中建立的陶冶與不刻意的培養。
童話與寓言故事,原住民的神話,歷史故事的源由來取代刻板的教科書,關於此點,我並不急著建立孩子的閱讀、造句與作文能力。
我相信著,找到「翻閱的動力」是學習閱讀前首先應該作的事情。但是,我必須坦承,減少課業的壓力,他們才有時間閱讀與消化。


當我帶著孩子閱讀時,多半在閱讀完一段文字,便開始讓他們自行發揮想像力。
也因此,基於孩童對於繪圖的需求,我對繪本是有一些嚴格的選擇:這當中包括了圖片與文字的關連性,版面的設計,畫面的連貫性;
因為繪本的故事,並不只是依靠文字敘述,而是因著繪圖與文字的組合共同的表達。
我並不在乎故事裡引申了何種道理,我在乎的是,閱讀能不能讓孩子有共鳴。它,可以天馬行空,而天馬行空中有著豐富的想像與邏輯。
例如格林出版社《廚房之夜狂想曲》,桑達克讓廚房的瓶瓶罐罐成了紐約的一座座大樓,有著點點星際的超現實天空,這是一個取材自日常生活,讓孩子容易聯想且極為出色的創意。


內隱的學習與生活次序
在學前教育的時期,我小心翼翼的建立他們應該建立的生活規矩。
對於各類的興趣與接觸,我最嚴格執行的限制是看電視與上網,因為,這是一種單向、被動的行為,我認為會干擾孩子的學習與感官發展。
在我個人的認知,品格教育是一種內隱的學習,培預期在小學前的家庭開始,人的品格也會不斷成長,它與孩子的生活次序能否帶來安全感,還有家庭的教育價值觀有著極大的關係。
我認為家庭必須建立一個堅持的價值觀,這價值觀在面對外界的思潮洪流中,仍讓孩子有著不畏懼與坦蕩。
品格與道德可以彌補智育的缺點,智育卻無法彌補道德的空白。


「競爭力」是不是一種團體的吹眠能力?
我並不喜愛用獎品來激勵孩子的學習,也不喜愛選舉模範生與班長的行為。
我也正思考著何謂真正教育的精神?我所認知的自主學習,來自對世界與大自然的熱情與好奇。
大環境傾向用績效來要求孩子,用著圈圈與叉叉的貼紙管理秩序。四周的親友比較,報章與專家的建議讓家長焦慮,背後這股起跑點、競爭力、基測的聲浪,正恐嚇著家長對孩子擔憂未來的生存能力!
恐嚇,是一種不舒服的教育。也許,孩子的家長更沒有自信!
不幸的說,當孩子被要求寫考卷、打分數的同時,也建立了對100分的肯定。這些養成,讓孩子習慣索求答案,快速贏得掌聲與成績,喪失了從體驗中學習的耐性。
我認知的競爭力,不是知識懂得的多少,而是對生活的多元與觸角、健康的免疫力、生命的平衡發展。
我期待著,自主求知精神不是口號。但我也感嘆著,這樣的教育環境,不僅需要有Guts的老師,也需要有Guts的家長。
也許,我的孩子未來必須參加各類的考試,未必能有突出的表現,但我相信,他們擁有好奇與勇氣來擁抱對世界的熱情。

獎狀與成績,不是全部的教育
我想到孩子的老師在我們轉學時,寫給我一封信,信中她提及,她感謝著我們把溫暖的孩子交在她手上,她因著孩子一開始的目不識丁到努力學習後的進步,讓她開心的在辦公室告訴同事:這孩子的正音是真正出自她的教導。她也感謝著孩子努力不懈的毅力,並沒有因著起跑點的挫折而喪失對自己的自信。每逢想到這封信,我就不禁紅了演眶,對於老師的用心,我只有感謝。
孩子學習沒有起跑點,當然,學習也沒有終點。
我在孩子前陣子國語文競賽的得獎報導文章中,看到流暢,自然,沒有咬文嚼字,沒有名言的背誦與引用的句型。我看到用字淺顯,卻是深刻的體驗與觀察,我想,沒有刻板的八股公式與矯情描寫的情緒,這真是出自一個孩子的文筆!身為母親的我,也感到一種喜悅,這喜悅並非來自獎狀,而是孩子真摯的語言,是對米家慢走教育的鼓勵。
對於獎狀,我引用自船越準藏《紅色的外套》中的自述
「從外面看的人,只看到誰先到的順位,所以跑的快的同學以順位給獎,但是盡全力的榮譽每一位是一樣的。對於跑輸的人,我們要毫不吝嗇給予鼓掌,有沒有盡全力只有自己才知道,所以真正的獎狀是自己寫的。我的母親,忍著沒有說出"快跑,不要輸!"因為她明白,沒有一個父母不希望自己的孩子跑的比別人快,但是並不是每個孩子都生來具有那樣的能力。苛求那生來畏懼有的能力,必然傷到孩子,就算生來具有那能力,若一直催著他快跑,也會使他喘不過氣,盡自己的全力,是母親教導給孩子的功課。」
童年,是人生重要的起點。此時的經歷與懷抱夢想,會隨著年齡的漸長,成為他們未來的鄉愁與源源不絕的靈感。

競爭力,需要重新被定義。
教育,是寫給孩子未來與生命的樂章,它需要對生活的觀察與體驗。
這些累積,會成為他們豐富的感受性。

  自《米家的慢走與樂活》(19/10/2009)