Two weeks ago, my son (let’s call him Boy Wonder) who is in Std. 2 came home and told me that his teacher had asked them to buy a flute. A flute! I thought that when they dropped Music from the curriculum, those type of musical instruments would be used when he’s probably in secondary or something like that. His school gives piano classes which is mandatory for every student so I saw there was no escaping buying the instrument.
It took me back to the days when we did Music as a subject and even though I never got bought a flute, I managed to learn the National Anthem on it.
So after forgetting a few times and being harassed when I got home, I went to the supermarket and bought the flute. Infact, I found one which was detachable and I thought it would be easier for him to carry around as we wouldn’t have to worry about it breaking accidentally if he sat on his bag. Boy Wonder was very happy with the flute and wasted no time no time in showing us how he can play.
When I got home the next evening, the first thing he told me was that the teacher said it was not the right one. The teacher had told him to get a recorder. Note the said teacher had not written me a note nor had he told his students to write it in their diary. While I want my child to learn how to play an instrument, I was left wondering isn’t a recorder a bit advanced for a Std 2 pupil who should start with a simple version then advance to another when he has started mastering the art of playing it?
I refused to buy the recorder not because I can’t afford it but because of the above principle. The teacher should learn how to communicate properly. He should not expect that the parent will buy anything he tells the child. As my mother used to ask us sometimes when we would ask for something that we hadn’t told her about in good time “does he think money grows on trees?”
Story by Jane Muthoni.