The practice at Rejoice Creative is a child-centered one. I remember speaking to a parent of a child who just started sessions and she said with a little of disdain, "I know.. you follow everything the kid does." Hmm.. that cannot be further from what it really is.
Child centred sessions @ Rejoice Creative Music, means looking at what the child needs in the moment and adjusting our interventions to meet them where they are at, all the whilst bearing in mind what the overarching goals are.
So .. take this for an example. We have a session with a child on the autism spectrum. Let's call her Mimi. We have a regular greeting song which we do whenever we start. However, today, Mimi comes in upset about an incident in school. She sees you and starts telling you about it. The session can go several ways from here. We could:
One, still insist to do the hello song first before anything else.
Two, go with what she has just vented, and create music that stems from her feelings.
OR Three, playing music that goes with her flow in the moment, and gradually guiding her back to the hello song that is familiar and grounding, playing it in a way that is attuned to her emotions at that time.
There really isn't a right or wrong decision in this as it depends on so much more nuances that can only be experienced in an actual session. However, I would say that either Two or Three would be probably be more apt as we are embracing who Mimi is in that moment, and what she needed. That's child-centred, in a very tiny nutshell.
Being child-centred is really an art that requires practice. We don't simply follow the child's lead aimlessly. We attune to the child and create musical opportunities for the child to work towards his/her goals. It is a journey but definitely a rewarding one.
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