Charlotte started her music lesson at the kindermusik 5 months back. She started as a very shy and closed little girl but her progress is rather significant...
During the initial lessons, most of the time she just lying down facing the wall or hiding behind me all the time, ignoring all the happenings around her. We thought it was a mistake signing her up at such an early age but the teacher kept telling us to be patient. She said she has seen many kids started out this way and they did just fine in time. They need time to observe and to get themselves comfortable with the environment and making friends with others, especially for the only child of the family.
We use the "lead by example" strategy to encourage Charlotte to participate. So, sometimes it is very tiring jumping and running around especially after a long day at work however we saw great improvement from each lesson. She is also learning many other disciplines and skills besides music like sharing and letting go of an instrument when it is time to return. The teacher will give out musical instruments to each of them and to the parent too but it is only for 3-5min. They will have to return it to the teacher and move on to the next activity. I was very worried that Charlotte will throw her tantrum when we asked her to return the instruments because she probably hasn't have enough of it for that short 3-5min but to our surprise she behaved rather well in this area. She walked up to the teacher and put the instrument back into the box gently. The teacher always praise Charlotte because she never throw the instruments when returning it :)
One big challenge is to make Charlotte hold hands with other kids when it comes to a circle activity. Charlotte didn't like to hold hands with others and I had to carry her with me in the parent circle while other kids were holding hands running and dancing with the music in the children circle. Maybe she has yet to master her coordination skills and this activity could be dangerous for her. I realized Charlotte is very conscious of her safety when we were in KL with her cousin Christopher few months back. Once, she was sitting in Christopher's stroller and Christopher was trying to push her around in the house. She totally didn't like the idea and only allowed adults to push her. She finally agreed to hold hands with other kids and did the activity together 3 lessons back! That's when we realized that she has developed more confidence in making her steps too!
At the end of every class, the teacher will sing a goodbye song and that's when all the kids will go and give teacher a goodbye hug. The teacher will then give out a good boy/girl sticker to the children. Charlotte refused to hug the teacher but just a waive of goodbye from far. We tried to bribe her with the sticker but obviously that didn't work out. The teacher fully understood Charlotte's behaviour and patiently waited at the end of every class, hoping Charlotte will eventually run towards her and give her a goodbye hug just like all the other kids did. Finally, Charlotte gave her precious hug to her teacher tonight and she was the first one ran towards the teacher when I told her it's time to say goodbye!!! Both the teacher and myself were very very happy to see this :D