If you’ve taken a look at our books, games and activities, you've probably already gathered that the Meridee Winters method does not take your typical approach to music lessons. In fact, we offer the theory, basic skills and technique of traditional music materials (the "meat and potatoes" of music lessons) but also add creativity, songwriting, games and more to transform instruction into something special. (In keeping with our metaphor, these would be the gravy, stuffing and dessert that really make the meal memorable.)
In fact, some of the teachers at our flagship Philadelphia school use this metaphor on a regular basis. When encountering a less-than-thrilling lesson book song that is "good for you" (and teaches an essential skill), it's referred to as "eating your vegetables." (You know, they do make us grow... musically.) You can even spice up a boring old lesson book song with a "creative spin" — a popular technique in the MW method. This metaphor can be quite helpful in structuring your student or child's practice time, too. Have them "eat their vegetables" first and then reward themselves with a favorite piece!
The creative MW games or songwriting activities used in lessons can easily be called "dessert." They make great rewards for hard work, or great palette-cleansers after a tough song. Unlike pie or ice cream, though, these activities are also good for you, engaging higher-order thinking skills (through composition and analysis), encouraging self-expression, and reaffirming that music can and should be fun.
As any chef knows, it's these extra touches that really transform any food into something incredible. It's the care to match the right ingredients to the right flavors that makes the meal. After all, meat and potatoes are great, but the magic? It's totally in the gravy.
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