INTERVIEW of the author of the course Veronika Strelbitskaya with Irina Pashkevich, the mother of Arseniy, who completed his studies at the Third level of the KidsConservatory.
Veronica: Irina, in what situation did you decide to take part in the Little Conservatory course? Why did you need it?
Irina: When Arseniy was still very small and came to visit his grandmother, a piano teacher at a music school, he always played on his grandmother's home instrument, like any child, probably. A little later, my grandmother tried to interest him in classes, and we also wanted to (how could we not use grandmother’s skills - none of her three sons could be taken seriously and for a long time - maybe even with a grandson it would come out!) Moreover, grandmother said that Arseniy has good hearing and rather long fingers, just right for playing the piano. From a certain age, I don’t remember, well, maybe from the age of 4.5 they tried these classes in a more formalized way, but somehow Arseniy didn’t have motivation for classes. Together they watched motivational videos of children-musicians, grandmother showed her students, played children's songs herself. Then we decided to wait, leave this business, and also with interruptions, but we tried to study at an older age, after all, my grandmother is a profile teacher. But somehow Arseniy didn’t have much motivation, and attention was even worse - he didn’t want to do anything. At the most extreme time, they started already closer to 6 years. We have already tried, so to speak, to take it more seriously and regularly. Arseniy could only have access to the instrument, to study with his grandmother once a week, the rest of the time the grandmother gave us tasks (for teaching notes, mainly), she gave us a small (2 octave) synthesizer. They mainly worked together so that Arseny would not be distracted by me or dad. But once I stayed to watch their lesson with my grandmother, and I saw that Arseny somehow had no interest at all, he was spinning, distracted endlessly. Grandmother is trying to force him (not so rudely, but then it seemed to me, in principle, undesirable when teaching music or other creativity. It seemed to me that only the desire of the child should lead in such classes. However, I ideally think so now. However, with growing up, I think I understood my son more - his unwillingness to strain, if it’s at least a little difficult and you have to make an effort, even in what he likes.But, in any case, then I thought that these classes do not make much sense I don’t remember, it seems to me that once a week we still continued to go to my grandmother, or it was already coming to an end when I saw a post about an invitation to the First Stage of the Little Conservatory. we knew each other a little - you organized games in Bakhotsky for children, and we wanted to participate in them, so it was easier to go to a familiar person. We decided to try, why not. It seemed to me that I could handle Ars better than my grandmother eniya, his inattention. Well, the course is so interesting, maybe the child will be interested, I would very much like to - this was my main motivation then, perhaps. Yes, and adults on it, judging by the description, had something to do, and it really turned out that way! We literally played a couple of lessons on our tiny synthesizer, but then we specially bought an electronic piano, deciding that we would learn to play as a family, and that the instrument would not be wasted even if Arseniy did not want to play.
Q: Why did you decide to try classes at the Little Conservatory? After all, there were probably other options for alternative activities for Arseny.
I .: Well, next to the house (and even not so close) we have only a music school. This was definitely not our option, at that age and at that level of desire for a child. Something else, with an alternative approach, individual work, is definitely not nearby. I didn’t even hear that there is such a place somewhere relatively close, where one could carry it. In addition, we, who are rather heavy on our feet, like this format - classes at home are available at any time. Moreover, I have been thinking about family education (FO) for a long time, and, in fact, we have already been engaged in various subjects ourselves (reading, arithmetic, etc.). I thought that no one better than me, Arseniy knows, does not feel, and that with his craving to fly away into dreams, always being distracted, it is more efficient for him to deal with me, but under the strict guidance of a professional. I was very attracted by the description of what and how it will be in the Little Conservatory, besides, as I already wrote, it was an advertisement from a person I already knew, at least in absentia. The fact that Veronika organized games in Bakhotsky for children also played a role, perhaps: I understood that this is a person who, most likely, knows how to communicate with children, has certain necessary psychological skills. In addition, she is the mother of little boys, and not diligent girls who are always ahead of us in everything. Although, of course, boys are different, motivated in music and talented, but all the same, this is somehow morally closer to me. Well, the price was acceptable for us, not exorbitant. Actually, that's why we decided to try it.
There was only one doubt: what if Arseny didn’t go, he didn’t want to at all. But, again, how to understand if you do not try? So any classes can not go. Actually, therefore, I always approached this with great caution, no matter what activities and events this may concern (for it is always a pity for time, effort and money), but in this case there would be no loss of money: after all, the course was supposed to be for the whole family! Not one, it would be useful for another. And there was! I personally, for example, am very grateful to this course for discovering improvisation!
This is a story about why we went to the First Step. For the Second Stage, Arseniy's own motivation was a somewhat secondary matter for me. He simply agreed to my initiative, and the New Year's Rhythm Marathon contributed to this. I believe that the Little Conservatory is beneficial in any case, and at least it is beneficial for brain development. Of course, sometimes it takes a lot of effort on my part to organize myself, morally it is not easy, and from time to time I want someone to do it for me. So far, it is I who is moving Arseniy, and I need to discipline myself for the regularity of classes, find ways to motivate him, and so on. In any case, classes are beneficial and develop useful skills, even if not purely musical, but like the ability to overcome your laziness, for example, the habit of not quitting, how a little difficult, to feel your capabilities, to gain experience in achieving small goals with diligence, and so on. similar.
Q: What are your impressions and benefits from participating in the Little Conservatory course?
Did you like the material? Submission of material? Was it convenient to use the material at work?
I .: In the first stage of the Little Conservatory, especially at the beginning, there were many creative, improvisational tasks. And this, I am convinced, is the best start to music for children, this is what really arouses their interest, from which you can gradually move on to other things. There were always detailed instructions for each task, and, most importantly, video tutorials. The fact that they are shown by little boys of the same age as most of the participants in the Little Conservatory also, I think, contributes to many children, more interest. It was possible to show the child and other children on the course, getting to know them in absentia, and listen to their improvisations and compositions.
And the most interesting and useful for everyone is the opportunity to learn, if desired, not only for children, but also for adults! Both moms and dads! The first part opened improvisation to me as a legitimate way of making music. Before, when I was a teenager and occasionally tried to play similar experimental things with a neighbor who has a piano, I thought that this was only some kind of pampering, like playing a game, pretend, defective and worthless. Now I really liked to improvise, and I stopped devaluing it so much.
I also liked the fact that if something is not clear, you can always check with Veronika personally, having received additional clarifications and a video. She works with us tirelessly, giving everyone a lot of time and attention. I can’t even imagine when she does everything! Thank you!
The only technical difficulty that I had during the classes at the First Stage: for some reason, the links did not open from the sheet, I had to copy them to my Notes and go from there. But these are small things, of course. (Author's note - at the moment all materials are on the platform of the school website and are much more convenient to use).
The material is presented from simple to complex, selected according to the age of the children participating in the course. Already at the end of the First level of the course, children will be able to play songs with one pen. In the second level already with two handles, with accompaniment! This is also an incentive for them, I think that they do not just do some scales and individual exercises, but they can already play finished works, albeit small ones.
Q: Approximately how much time (days per week, minutes/hours) did you spend on classes?
I .: We practiced most often every day, sometimes every other day or two. At first, it took longer, they could devote almost a whole day to this with breaks, but then they did the whole lesson (in order to catch up, we started the Second Stage much later) for this day, as a rule. Well, a day and a half. However, this method was, of course, completely wrong. The child got tired, slowed down, eventually forgot what he knew, or didn’t understand simple things, I was nervous, in short, gradually I began to correct myself, stretch out the classes, I definitely practiced for 30-40 minutes a day, but in several approaches, at a time so as not to it was more than 15-20 minutes. Then they became even less, at least for 5 minutes at a time (when it came to analyzing plays).
In general, I really tried SO in this sense. It was my experience that gave me some understanding in principle of any training with Arseniy.
Q: Would you recommend classes at the Little Conservatory to your friends with children, and why?
I: NO!! All the best - only to us! And then they will break, there will not be enough time for everyone, and you still won’t get to you!
This is a joke, of course! (Although, to be honest, not without a grain of truth in the depths of my soul!)
I already recommend the Little Conservatory, but many children from my environment went to the music school this year. Well, or they are engaged in some song and dance groups, they have not yet expressed a desire to play instruments. I tell them that if you get disappointed or decide, know about the alternative!
For me personally, the leading advantages are: individual and friendly work with a child, logically built by a professional, and an important point - that you don’t have to go anywhere. And, of course, the opportunity for mothers themselves to learn a lot if they wish!
However, most of my acquaintances, even those who share the ideas of alternative education, do not aspire to family education in the form of homework on their own. Because this requires personal involvement, work and time. Many people are looking in the direction of finding exactly good teachers or organizations in order to delegate this matter to someone to the maximum. Sometimes I have such thoughts
visit, I will not hide. But I think that, yes, sometimes it’s not easy for the mother herself to do this, but with well-organized classes under the guidance of a competent teacher, the effectiveness of training will be an order of magnitude higher than working with a stranger. After all, it is possible to implement an individual approach to classes with a child as much as possible precisely with this kind of work - only a mother feels her child better than others.
V .: Irina, thank you for your sincere answers, for your diligent and interested work with Arseniy. I would like to note that with each week of classes, Arseniy becomes more and more concentrated, attentive, his playing becomes more sensitive to sound, love for the instrument is heard. You have an amazing contact with your son, which allows you to fruitfully move in the desired direction together. Good luck and inspiration in your future work!