Sight-reading. The child is faced with having to read a whole new music piece, maybe even some new elements or freshly learned. He is exercising the fast response reflex, making quick decisions, making good decisions and realising that he can count on each note to figure out the next one. There will never be an obstacle he can’t pass, on the music sheet or in his every day life, because he’s got practice in facing the NEW, he’s got practice at facing his fear and he’s got practice at overcoming it.
Study/Practice. Practicing a musical piece means getting to know it very “intimately” – beyond notation. They must get to a place where they can imagine how the piece should sound and then study (repeat, repeat, fail, repeat again, get frustrated, get mad, repeat, improve, keep improving) until their interpretation is as imagined. This right here can plant in a child the message that if he knows what he wants, he works hard enough, he is passionate and he perseveres, he will eventually fulfil his dreams.
Of course, these processes are so much more than I just described, I’m actually amazed that so many kids have the diligence to go through it. It is so hard! But watching them win these small steps and enjoying the success, gave me hope that these challenges can prepare and properly equip them for life. Nothing NEW and nothing HARD is standing in the way of their success!