“Why do we learn cursive?”
That was the question we heard at dinner the other night. Third grade includes a big emphasis on penmanship and the first look at cursive.
My son has long been intrigued by cursive, but found the work on it challenging and didn’t know why he had to do it at all.
We discussed and came up with a list of reasons:
- It’s a great way to develop fine motor skills, which you will use in lots of different activities.
- You’ll be able to read others’ writing more fluently if you can write it.
- You’re connected to a long tradition of stylized handwriting.
- Your first impression to some people is handwritten – you want to make they don’t consider you a sloppy person!
- You’ll be writing your whole life. Spending time early to make it fluid is worthwhile.
Consider the skills we build in the choral classroom.
Sight reading. Singing in a foreign language. Italian tempo markings. Vocal warmups.
We have a reason for doing all of these things, and everything else we teach every day in choir. But barring mind readers in class, our students often don’t know them. And without that knowledge, a practice can become very frustrating indeed.
Explain to your students why you are learning this. They will be far more willing to leap if they have a reason.
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