How to Work as a Team: Teaching Children How to Contribute as an Individual; Hard Work, Achievement, Reward
Putting it All Together
A Choir, A Concert & How it All Comes Together
I attended my granddaughter’s school choir event, held in one of the big entertainment venues in Bristol and featuring at least 10 school choirs, along with instrumental pieces and dance routines. The children filed in, apprehensive but eager, took their places in the rows of banked seats on stage, the selected repertoire for the approaching performance beating through their brains, over and over!
We (the proudest family members in the whole building of course) enjoyed an exciting evening listening to their well-rehearsed, polished versions of popular songs from the last few decades. A few brave individuals sang solos with confidence and pride. I too was proud as I watched my granddaughter; she was coming to the end of her last year at primary school, getting ready for the great step to secondary education.
Preparation & Work, Time & Effort
It occurred to me as I watched and listened that being able to sing together, hundreds of voices in tune, in time, each word clearly reaching across to us, accompanying movements all in sync, took a tremendous amount of work and time; the children’s time and effort, the teachers’ time and effort, the organisers’ time and effort. Not only were they able to deliver all this, but they did it with enthusiasm, joy and energy. They all stood up on cue, they sat down on cue, they followed the conductor’s directions with ease and confidence and they smiled, oh how they smiled and so did we!
How easy it looked! How well it all came across to us, the audience. How they made our hearts soar and our pride swell! How happy and pleased they looked that they were all taking part, giving pleasure and entertainment to so many people.
Hundreds of children, about twenty songs, three orchestral pieces, two dances, all in two hours; all those words and movements, all the timing, lots of information committed to memory, hours of rehearsing over many weeks, for just two hours of performance. Many hours of work for just two hours of production.
How It's Done
It’s called working together. It’s putting all the individual necessary pieces of a machine in the right place at the right time to produce the best effect, to create the desired results and consequent emotions. It’s making sure that each piece offers its best with as much energy and enthusiasm as possible, to ensure the finest outcome.
Each Individual Makes a Difference
Without just one of those pieces,
the sound would ring more quietly,
the mass would have less swing,
the quality would suffer,
the effect would slightly dim,
the joy would be less obvious,
the hearts beat smaller drums,
the smiles not quite so wide,
the shouts much more like hums;
The whole effect would not have such impact nor last so long.
Making the Effort
Life is like a Choir
I sat there listening and thinking that life is like a choir; we have to work together for many reasons, to help each other, to improve our lot, to be heard, to show effort and enthusiasm, to give joy, to make us proud and to make a difference to the lives around us. It often takes a lot of time to produce a little effect but that effect can be worth so much to so many.
Praise is The Icing on the Cake
An Important Experience for Children; Being Part of the Whole
Those children in that choir of choirs experienced the hard work, the nerves, the apprehension of carrying out a task they had taken a long time to learn. They also experienced the joy of performing that task, the satisfaction of being able to succeed in it, the pride in themselves and those around them and, on top of that, the amazing feeling of giving pleasure to all those people in the audience, many of whom they didn’t even know, of seeing the smiles, hearing the cheers and the applause, receiving the congratulations for a job well done.
They were children experiencing being part of an important group, for a purpose, and realising that each one of them was needed for the whole thing to happen, let alone to succeed. The pleasure and relief on their faces was palpable. They were pleased with themselves; they had done it and done it well. They were even more pleased, even amazed, at the reaction of their audience.
The feeling of pride in oneself and knowing that you’ve achieved something is reward in itself. The effort and the doing well are important. The accolade, more so when it is not expected, is the icing on the cake.
© 2012 Ann Carr