Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Learning to Read

I can vaguely, VERY vaguely, remember learning to read when I was a young girl. I can remember struggling and slowly reading word by word- or actually more like sound by sound. I'd meet with my reading group and my teacher and practice a few times each week. One day, all of the sudden, I started reading with ease. And I can remember thinking, "Oh my God- I'm really reading. And the words are adding up to sentences, and the sentences are adding up to a story!"

I then went on to be a 1st grade teacher for several years and I got to teach lots of kids to read. I think for a teacher,it couldn't possibly get any better than that. The power that reading gives us is enormous!

When I learned to play the guitar, I never learned to read music. I've played music just by goofing around, and using my ear. (AND my fingers!) But a year or two ago, I got a book and started learning to read music. I felt sort of like I did at the beginning stages of reading back in 1st grade. Lots of starts and stops. Very choppy. Not very pretty. And without a teacher, or friends beside me, I didn't feel all that motivated to consistently spend time practicing.

But a few months ago, my friend Diablo and I started working thru a book of duets. After practicing a few times weekly, after only a few weeks, the reading is starting to come with ease. The notes are adding up to phrases. And the phrases are adding up to songs!

We have come a long way together in a short amount of time. We get so excited and we hoop, hollar and high five after our best songs. It's all very exciting and reminiscent of learning to read as a kid. There is something to regular practice, and to sharing that practice time with a friend, and then practicing a little on your own. The power reading gives us is, once again, enormous.

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