Thursday, May 3, 2012

Missus Teacher

During the past year Marietta has taken Voice Lessons and Matthew would come along each time.  Marietta’s teacher, Mrs. C. would occasionally take the time to teach Matthew some music concepts, giving him some papers to take home and work on.  Matthew loved being big enough to learn something like the girls and looked forward to this.  When Marietta stopped taking Voice Lessons with Mrs. C. Matthew lost out on his music instructions … until a new teacher came along.

Marietta decided to take on the challenge of teaching Matthew.  It started as just fun but when he showed an interest in learning and was doing well in it we decided to keep going with this idea.  Most afternoons after school Marietta and Matthew work together for about half an hour learning piano.

I looked into what piano books to start Matthew with and ordered a set, but then found out they were on backorder and with Matthew getting impatient to get going on his lessons I dug out the books that Rebecca started with and since they said they were for ages 5 and up I decided it was worth trying him on them and saving myself the money of buying something else.  So he is now working his way through Alfred’s Basic Piano Prep Course Level A and is about a quarter way through the Lesson Book.  When Rebecca started we also had her working with all the other books in the series – Theory, Technic, Notespeller, Activity and Ear Training, because the series was new to the teacher she had and he wanted her to order them all.  We now only use the Lesson and Theory book for each level. I usually only buy the book once and then copy it for the other kids to use so Matthew has lots of copies and lots to work with.  Most of it is colouring, I remember Rebecca complaining that she had to do more colouring (she was in Grade 2 when she started so that much colouring wasn’t very thrilling).

Matthew works diligently at his lessons as Marietta assigns them.


Each day when Marietta gets home from school he pulls out his books and is waiting to start his lessons.  He is very disappointed if he has to wait for a bit because Marietta has homework or Rebecca needs the piano first.  Often Marietta will work side by side with him, doing her own homework or piano while Matthew works on his theory.  Marietta is very good with him and they work well together.  Marietta realizes that teaching Matthew is not an example of how it would be to teach other students, Matthew is an eager student and a quick learner … two things that make for fun and fast learning.

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Matthew learned the key letters by animal names (this is how Mrs. C. taught it) – Abby Ant, Buzzing Bee, Curious Cat, Dabber Dog, Ellie Elephant, Friendly Frog, Gomer Goat – and is working on his note timing (Happy Half-Note, Quinsey Quarter-Note, Hokey Whole-Note and  Quiet Quiggly) and some basic “songs” for his fingering.


With the age gap between the girls and Matthew we see how Matthew is always striving to fit in with what the girls are doing.  For a period of time whenever the girls talked about school Matthew would talk about what he did at school that day (to the point where we began to wonder if he realize it was just his imagination).  You could tell he felt left out and wanted to be included in what they were doing.  For the past half year he has been very ready to go to school.  He used to play very well on his own but now is not so willing to play quietly by himself but wants someone to play a game with him or do interactive things with him.  He pulls out his colouring book and works on it throughout the day and just generally shows signs of being ready for school.  Since he already recognizes and writes all his letters … something he learned on his own without anyones help, and also knows the sounds of most of the letter.  I really did not want to be teaching him more as then he would find school boring next year.  He knows enough that I don’t need to worry about him next year, but I do want him to still be challenged a bit and not lose interested because it’s not stimulating him enough.  So music seemed like a good answer.  He gets to learn like the kids but it doesn’t take away from his schooling.

Hopefully they both keep at it as it’s a good experience for both of them.

After I posted I realized that I forgot to get to why I had the title Missus Teacher.  I just find it so cute when I’m working in the kitchen and I hear Matthew saying “Missus Teacher”  to Marietta.  I’m glad they’re having fun with it all.

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