Sunday, March 15, 2015

Challenging the Gifted and Talented Child

In the course of enrolling students in classes, I have come across a few who were gifted in playing music by ear even before they sat down to learn a song on the piano.  There are few who have this talents, but they stand out in a crowd very quickly.

It is a challenge to work with these children, because they do not have the patience to learn how to read music.  They simply want to sit down and play.  Anything they play sounds like a song.  Some of them are able to hear a song and play it right back.  That is real talent!

If they have a real passion for the piano, they will want to learn as much as they can.  When they can sit still long enough to learn some basic principles of sight reading, they learn quickly and are able to apply the knowledge very quickly.

However, if the teacher cannot hold their interest or they have a passion in some other area, they will usually get lost in the shuffle or drop out of the lessons.  I try and offer lessons to these children to keep them interested in the classes.  They usually receive more work or more challenging songs.  They learn how to take a risk in learning something new, to work hard, and to thrive in the midst of all of their challenges.  In this way, they will be prepared for the challenges they will face in life.  The end result is that the children have more confidence in attempting something new. 

My other students will acquire the same skills, but not at the level of the more gifted and talented children.  Each child learns at his/her own pace in my classes.  I am ever encouraging them to go beyond their comfort zones in preparation of what they will encounter later on in life.

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