Being able to communicate our feelings, ideas and thoughts is paramount to the human condition. Sharing, caring, laughing, advising, playing, watching, listening, and showing, all fall within the realms of communication. Yet, this skill is not something that develops on its own. Each child is so different and develops at varying paces. Not to mention some children having medical, additional, complex, special needs which makes communication skills much more difficult to develop. However, there is a lot that parents, caregivers and educators can do to help children unlock their communication.
I have had many years’ experience as a music conductor. I have led choirs, instrumental ensembles, small groups of musicians, and large groups of instrumentalists. I continue to conduct and find the experience to be not only uplifting but humbling. You see, my varied groups are a combination of young people who have disabilities and those who are ‘typical’. The beauty about these inclusive ensembles is the dynamic, fun, friendship, and respect that evolves from weekly rehearsals. Within every ensemble in the world is a group of people. Each person is different from the other. Each is unique and there is no one like them. Yet, through the collaborative music-making they create harmonious, connected, and joyous soundscapes. They work hard together. They play hard together. They listen attentively to each other. They respect each other. They negotiate. They praise each other’s efforts. They celebrate. They connect, and most importantly they communicate. And, communication takes practice, consistent practice. Communication is never perfect. However, it is key to successful relationships.
Just like a music ensemble, is the family unit. It takes hard work. Consistent practice. Listening and being listened to. Setting boundaries, following directions, interpreting phrases, and loving guidance and reassurance. Through this we can maintain effectivecommunication in many forms. Real communication among people. Respectful. Interesting. Attentive. Caring. Helpful. Effective.
‘The resource we lack mostly, more than money, time and togetherness
Even when people are motivated and passionate to hear what you have to say,
Their attention narrow band, constantly drives them away.
So keep your messages short, precise and right to the point,
Make sure the subject of interest is mutually joint.
Otherwise you will find yourself taking the stage and preaching your pitch,
But no real audience will stay long, or will be within reach.
Effective communication is like playing “catch the ball”
You want to keep on playing, after your first call.
Keep the interaction of motivation going and win win flow.
This way you will engage effective communication and prevent any woe’.