May 7

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But Then We’d Die

I was a sophomore in undergrad, teaching children at a local after-school program.

In a lesson with a young girl...maybe 7 years old...I said...

"You have to make sure you always count."

Her response: "But then we'd die."

I scratched my head over that response for the next few days. Then it occurred to me. Her young, innocent mind's interpretation of what I said.

In her mind, I was saying to always count, to the exclusion of everything else. So, if we always count, and don't do anything else, including eating, then we'd die.

Which is fair.

The lesson?

When it comes to children, we can't assume any prior knowledge. If it can be misinterpreted, it will be. If it can be misconstrued, it will. If it can be imagined into something else, it will.

And so, we have to be a clear as possible in every single thing we teach and do.

Every. Single. Thing.

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About Jonathan Roberts

I am the founder and director of the South Shore Piano School, and I have been teaching the piano for nearly 20 years. My work centers around bringing music to the lives of kids, parents, and adults in an enriching, meaningful way. At the South Shore Piano School, my incredible colleagues and I accomplish this through skill-based teaching, community, and an innovative, people-first business model. You can read more about me here.


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