The music teacher
I don’t remember much about music period at school, only that a bunch of us took great delight in deliberately playing the wrong notes on our recorders, and that our young teacher always looked harried and miserable.
Many decades later, I regret my disdain of this weekly opportunity to master a musical instrument. I also wonder if having another teacher might have made a difference. A teacher who was passionate about music, and whose music program excited and inspired.
They might be rare but such teachers do exist, and one of them, Karen Carey, Director of Music at MLC school, is not only the subject of a documentary film Mrs Carey’s Concert, she’s presenting a session, Tuning in to your potential, at Mind & Its Potential in October.
What makes Carey such a remarkable educator – her output includes biennial Opera House Concerts and international music tours – is her absolute commitment to music education and her belief in its power to bring out the best in her students.
Music really matters
Speaking here in a radio interview Carey describes just some of the positives associated with studying music, such as the development of “fine motor skills, aural skills, and memory … discipline and focus.” She insists every child can benefit enormously, provided music is included in the school curriculum early enough, preferably starting in kindergarten before “minds are set”.
The secret to her success
Carey attributes her own love of music and teaching in large part to her dad’s influence. “My dad was passionate about music, always playing recordings.” He was also a “superb educator” whose “ideas were advanced.” These have very much guided Carey’s own modus operandi both in and out of the classroom.
“I learnt early that teaching in the classroom is not all. It’s what happens outside the classroom … don’t just confine yourself to the narrow confines of the school … use the community, work on the parents, and think of ways you can make connections with other people because where real learning comes in is in working with people outside the school.
“I’ve found that I’ve connected with great musicians outside the school and I’ve made great friendships at other schools; we’ve brought people together. It’s collaboration.”