I am bad at math. At least that’s how I felt since 3rd grade when they began separating the “good” math students and the “bad” math students into groups. Turns out, once you are given the label that you are bad at something, very quickly the opportunities to get good at that something fall away. So to this day, against my better judgement, that is still the label I give myself. As a result, anytime anything that relates to math comes up I steer far far away instead of addressing it head on.
So, if the more you tell a child that they are bad at something, the more they believe it, and then the more everyone around them believes it as well. Why limit a child in this way? Label a kid bad at something and watch the walls of creativity go up before your eyes. Give ALL kids the opportunity to learn equally and without labels, and watch the walls disintegrate.
This couldn’t be more true with music. All kids have the right to learn music. Whether they come able to play a single note or a finger shredding solo, every child has the right to play, learn, and explore in an environment that is judgement and label free.
This is a huge part of the Brooklyn Music Factory philosophy. Give all kids the opportunity to learn, no matter what their struggles are. In fact, embrace those struggles and turn them into a strength. For example: a high energy kid may be a challenge to manage in the classroom, but channel that energy through writing a loud rock song and you are using that energy instead of dismissing the child as a “behavior problem” or “bad.” That is the easy way out and is the road too often taken.
I don’t ever want one of our students to walk away from the Brooklyn Music Factory saying I am bad at music or even worse, I’m a bad kid. Every child should leave here feeling empowered, energized and ready for new challenges ahead. This will give them confidence not only in music, but in the world beyond. And with that confidence, the possibilities are endless.
– Peira Moinester, Director, BMF Band Program