Problem solving stretches far beyond a math lesson, into every facet of a child’s education. When you use music as an intentional strategy, you’re building music lovers who will be problem solvers. Active listening (what do you hear?), imagination (what are the possibilities?), and sustained focus (what do you think is the composer’s message?)
You don’t need to be a music educator, nor do you need to know a lot about music to do this. Here’s one way to build music lovers and problem solvers:
- Start with an easy-to-listen-to piece like The Moldau, by the Czech composer Smetana. It’s about a journey down the River Moldau and what pictures the composer paints along the way.
- Ask children to listen for small streams, a rural wedding, white water rapids, a stately castle.
- Discuss what everyone heard. Play the piece again. Have students draw what they heard.
The results show you what children heard in an unfamiliar piece of music, what they heard their peers say, and how they learned to incorporate it into a larger picture.
It’s not a stretch to see how music lovers become problem solvers. We need more of them in our world, especially ones who listen.