I have been doing workshops with a group of professional musicians on how we can find better ways of teaching music to children. Learning how to learn music was the big question. Realising why we learn the basics and how we can build on them was something that we wanted to figure out.
So often we teach music through basic tunes and that was not making much sense to us. The emphasis on learning tunes was taking away the real creativity and understanding of the subject. It made sense to even realise why we need to teach technique and notes before we actually do it. When a learner understands why he or she is doing all this it makes the process more interesting and engaging. Most of all it actually provokes the creativity of the musician and makes him or her exercise it.
As an experiment we invited a young fourteen year old boy to the workshop to tell us about his musical journey. Rahil has been learning music for about nine years and has taken lessons in piano and tabla. He has been learning the basics of these two instruments through this phase with an exposure to both rhythm and melody and enjoys putting music together.
We asked Rahil to actually do a session with these professional musicians, doing whatever he wants. He talked about his early days of learning the tabla. He then showed us how he uses a basic beat as the origin to build a piece of music, involving the musicians present. He had never worked with them before and decided to do this impromptu. The outcome was really interesting.