Parents are teachers

I just wanted to vent for a bit.  We’ve all been hearing a lot recently on the news about how our schools are failing our children and how the teachers are to blame.  Where do the parents fall in the blame?

My parents taught me most everything I know, encouraged me every step of the way through school, helped with homework and projects, took me to lessons, made me practice, made me go to bed early, woke me up in the morning, made me eat a good breakfast, took me to the library for books, took me on educational family trips, taught me how to read at a young age, and more.  They did this for my siblings as well.  We were all expected to work hard and to hold ourselves to very high standards on our schoolwork, music lessons, and other activities.

Today in class I asked my students to repeat a piece and to try to get better intonation (fingers on tapes).  One student raised her hand and said that they always have that problem.  She said it in a tone that implied that since this was their weakness, I should just let it slide, that it would never be better.  I was shocked!  I told the class that even if they might never accomplish perfect intonation, we would always be striving for it.  We should always have high standards for ourselves!  The second time through WAS a bit better.

My point is this:  not all children are so lucky to have great parents.  We as a nation are quick to judge the teachers.  What about the other adults who see our nation’s children even more?

2 thoughts on “Parents are teachers”

  1. My parents taught me to read and taught me to read music (and I clearly understood both English and music before either language was taught in school). No matter what was taught in my violin lessons or school, my education was supplemented with learning at home.

    Today’s parents are lazy, expecting teachers to both babysit and educate children while the parents work. Today’s parents are lazy, refusing to help their students practice violin. Sure, they’ll help with math homework (because that’s REAL LEARNIN’) or with soccer practice (because every little kid is the new CRISTIANO!!) but they blow off music because it’s a “hobby.” I have seen very few exceptions to this rule, perhaps because I don’t yet have the reputation of a major teacher.

    I will say it again. Today’s parents are lazy–do you help your child with other things but blow off music? Step up and help. You are part of your child’s education and that includes music.

  2. I agree–parents play a huge role. And to defend them a bit, there are still plenty of parents out there who are anything but lazy and are working (very!) hard to oversee their childrens’ education. I think most people really have no idea what it takes to learn something like violin. I feel like a broken record talking about repetitions, listening, and review, but I’m hoping it will click for more of my students and their parents. In the meantime, the families who do get it are flourishing.

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