All Shapes of the World
By Kate Phillips - Mini Maestros Rowville/Upwey/Upper Ferntree Gully Franchisee
"Look at us! Governed by squares and rectangles!”
This was a comment made to me by my friend at a recent social event. As I looked around, I saw how right she was. Nearly every person there had a phone, laptop, iPad or tablet, the TV was on, and one strange person was just gazing out the window. There was not much conversation going on. Squares and rectangles.
What concerned me even more, was the level at which the children in the room were involved in this technological domination. Some were playing Minecraft, one was selecting music from an iPod, and one was on her Nintendo DS. There was not much childish chatter going on. Squares and rectangles.
Having three girls of my own, I have always tried to get them outside as much as possible, and have tried to discourage or limit the amount of hours spent in front of a screen, with varying degrees of success.
Pondering this phenomenon, I resolved to do something outdoors and nature-ish with my girls at the next opportunity. We went for a walk through our nearby nature reserve, and being quite a warm day, we found the creek, and had a bit of a splash.
The change that overcame my children was a wonder to behold.
Suddenly, pre-teen grunts and petty squabbles became giggles, “Oooh’s" and “Aah’s” and “Hey come and look at this!” rang out through the air. As I watched and got involved in what they were doing, it dawned on me, that this is actually who we are. We are explorers, creators, discoverers and listeners, and we have a connection with the land and the world which technology has largely snuffed out. We made balls of clay, played “Pooh-sticks” and chased our stick down the river to see who would win. We tore the strips of falling bark off the trees and made little boats, We watched the butterflies and tried to guess if they liked water or not. We laughed when we heard the birds singing what sounded like a song we knew. We explored, we created, we discovered, and we noticed our land and listened to its music.
As a Mini Maestros teacher, I am very conscious of the level of involvement even the youngest children have in technology. Many times, I’ve have had to retrieve my iPod from the hands of a toddler who seems to know exactly how to use it!
We do lots of nature-themed activities in our Mini Maestros classes, and my favourite is the “I Hear Thunder” with our 2-year-olds. We bang on the drum making thunder noises, then pitter-patter very lightly with our fingers to make the rain sound. We also swoosh our hands over the surface of the drum to make a windy sound. It never fails to amaze me how this activity stays with them. Even in a 4-year-old class recently, I had a little boy say “STOP banging everyone, I’m doing the rain now!”
Technology certainly has its place, but I’m always amazed at how, somehow, when we connect with nature, and see it through the eyes of our children, we are permitted to become more like who we actually are meant to be - quiet, raucous, inquisitive, playful, thoughtful...us. Our world has a music of its own, and when we pause to listen, notice and play, we are permitted to connect with each other and our world in a very meaningful way. Let’s just remember to keep the squares and rectangles in their place, and explore ALL the shapes of the world.
- Kodály, Orff, Dalcroze and Suzuki - By Jo Irwin - Mini Maestros Sunbury and Macedon Ranges Franchisee
- New Mini Maestros Customer App
- Diving Deeper - Connection by Maddy Kelly - Mini Maestros' Training & Development Manager
- 2019 Enrolments - Another Year of Nurturing Confident Learners
- Diving Deeper - Imagination. By Caroline Paterson
- Diving Deeper - Creativity by Kitty Skeen - Mini Maestros Bendigo Franchisee
- Interview with Dr Anita Collins – By Esther Bertram
- Onlooker Learners - By Emma Hart, Mini Maestros Head Of Teaching
- Meet The Team - Ally Hvalica
- Music and Intellectual Development - By Alison Cusack & Linda Repic
- Who is your child's best teacher? Part 1 of 2 By Emma Hart - Head of Teaching
- Who is your child's best teacher? Part 2 of 2 By Emma Hart - Head of Teaching
- Diving Deeper - Physical Skills - By Taryn Wright
- Inter-generational music making is building healthy communities
- Writing Music Down - by 3MBS
- Diving Deeper - Social Skills by Kate Rice
- The Importance of Repetition
- Diving Deeper - Learning to listen by Robyn Stewardson
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Esther Bertram - Marketing and Franchise Development Manager
- Meet the Team - Jo Irwin
- Diving Deeper - Imagination and Music By Lisa Marcolin
- Speech Development - Stories from Parents by Annette L. Graham
- Why Have Concerts? - By Emma Hart, Head of Teaching
- Diving Deeper - The Power of Song by Kitty Skeen Part 1 of 2
- Diving Deeper - The Power of Song by Kitty Skeen Part 2 of 2
- Meeting the Head Office Team - Maddy Kelly
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Bruce Fethers - Co-owner & Managing Director
- Diving Deeper - Dance - by Cathy Edgar
- The Senses - By Robyn Grose
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Jennifer Smith - Co-owner & Music Director
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Emma Hart - Head of Teaching
- The Power of Music in Expressing Children's Emotions by Chantelle Alvaro
- Play - By Kate Howard
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Introducing Stephanie Migliore
- Relationships - By Ally Hvalica
- Developmental Milestones - By MaryRose Harrison
- Stories From Parents/Grandparents - Bobbie Carroll
- Meeting The Head Office Team - Introducing Monika Szilagyi
- JOY by Tiff Ikin
- Music Education
- Peekaboo Scarves by Emma Hart
- Music Forever
- Children of Tomorrow: Thoughts On Mindful Music Education in the Early Childhood Space
- Nurturing the Love of Music
- Music. Feel it all over.
- Mini Maestros - It's Not Just About The Children.
- Mid-term Magic
- The Creative Life
- 5 Simple Ways to Nurture Creativity in Our Children
- Discovering the Joy of Music
- Five Alternative Ways to Say "Well Done!"
- "Good morning Bumblebee"
- A Mini Maestros Moment
- The exchange between teacher and child
- The joy of being a new mum, and the importance of connection learning and play
- BABIES CLASSES - a very special and important time for you and your child.
- 5 Ways To Jam With Your Child At Home
- Was Your First Mini Maestros Class What You Expected?
- Moving to a Steady Beat and the Young Brain
- Learning an Instrument