JENNIFER WASHINGTON MUSIC Jennifer is wonderful woman. Warm, kind, funny, insightful ... natural qualities that make her very good at one of her other jobs as a certified life coach. She incorporates her coaching experience into her music lessons. Jennifer spends lots time with the 'person' developing in her young students while teaching them music. "Kids are under so much pressure these days." says Jen, " I feel so blessed if I can, in some small way encourage them, bolster their confidence or just give them a break by telling them to not be so hard on themselves!"
Jennifer has her Grade 8 Royal Conservatory in piano. She teaches piano and electric and acoustic guitar. Jennifer's first priority is that her students truly enjoy learning to play an instrument. There's no rushing, no crying, no misery, she lets the kids move at their own pace in 1/2 hour lessons after school. If a kid wants more, they come more often. Simple. She's had some happy kids come through her music room over years all of whom showed up via word-of-mom.
There's a 'recital practice' get-together on Saturday morning, once a month, where all the kids she see individually though out the week get together to play a piece they have learned and Miss Jennifer insists that everyone is supported and applauded. During these Saturday morning groups the kids get used to playing in front of people in a safe place and they inspire each other. No jam session is complete without some chow so the kids hang around afterwards to mix and mingle over snacks and juice and nurture new relationships in their "musical family".
At Christmastime the kids get together to perform the practiced recital tunes for the older crowd at one of the local retirement residences so they get an understanding of their place in the community and how they can contribute.
Jennifer sees music as a language, an international language that once learned allows a kid to play any instrument that interests them. The language of music develops your brain power the way learning any second language does and, although we can pick it up when we are older, language of any kind is always easier for young brains.
Here's more from Jennifer; "There are many teachers with more talent, skill, experience than I, but that is not worth much if the child does not practice.
My job is to teach the child self motivation and love of music. I teach basic music theory/technique but emphasize exposure to all kinds of music and to learning and playing the kind of music the child is most drawn to. My job is also to demonstrate to the student that practice is the only way to master an instrument. Practice is the student's responsibility, not Mom's or Dad's and I hopefully help the student to get self satisfaction out of practice (and lots of stickers and candy!)
Everyone can learn music and play an instrument and everyone figures it out at their own speed. Music is fun and I make sure every effort is rewarded and that there is no comparing to others."
At then end of the year there is always a recital and party for the kids' families. In the past Jennifer has rented a church or community hall but this season she took a chance on the weather and had the event in her backyard. Mother Nature and the children's' artistic nature delivered a harmonious evening.
There are all kinds of environments in which children are taught music and few include being allowed to learn the Beatles before Bach. If that's what you want for your child you can email Jennifer here: firstname.lastname@example.org And here's a link to her Life Coach site.
Check out Patti's awesome parent resource site: http://www.confidentcalgarykids.com