I first met Scott when he was working at Bea's summer camp a few years ago. We were talking at the end of camp about plans and I found out Scott was starting his own business, Sonic Enrichment, where he would be teaching music. I promtly signed the boys up!
Scott's approach teaching the kids music is different than most. He began with my boys when they were in second grade and after picking them up at school and having a snack together they would play music together for the remainder of the afternoon...but rather than starting with scales and traditional music lessons he uses more of an ethnomusicology approach. Each week he would bring his guitar, and often a drum, as well as some instrument from far reaching parts of the world. One week it might be the didgeridoo from Australia and the next it could be a mandolin. Now, at the end of their second year together the time spent with Scott has evolved. It still includes some exploration that changes week to week, but they boys are also learning to play Fur Elise among other things on the keyboard.
So, where does the fort building come in? One of the things that makes Scott so special is his understanding of kids. Our last lesson of the year was planned for the kids last day of school and Scott knew that the boys attention would be elsewhere. He also wanted to celebrate their year together. Rather than insisting that they focus their attention on practicing Beethoven he took them first to the park to build a fort. They had a great time and a couple of days later when we went to the park with friends for a picnic the boys could not wait to show me the fort. They took me down a path I had never been on before - in a small clearing was their creation. They talked about how there were three points that were crucial to the structure, and showed me where they found all the branches and rocks. I loved seeing how they had balanced large branches in the crotch of a tree and then woven smaller ones in creating a wall. It was clear that they not only had loads of fun but learned a few things too.
I wish that there was more time for this kind of combination play and learning for kids. After a long day at school it is just what they need. And, in this case, they still got in a little music time at the end of their lesson too. Thank you, Scott!