Music vs. sports: gossip about interest classes! Which one do you truly support?

It’s Thursday and the weekend is not far away, so let’s have a little chat about what’s going on in school.
In British schools, every year at the end of the school year in June, the light is terrible: students, teachers, parents are busy to the heavy shadow! No matter what your child is learning at school, this is the time to report back and present.
In addition to parent-teacher conferences, cold dinners, awards parties, various annual ball games, sports games, and then endless performances and concerts. I feel like I’m running to the school for three days and spending several afternoons at the school. One parent complained, “Don’t even bother going to work!”
Once debriefing season rolls around, parents have mixed feelings: you finally get to see for yourself how your child is really doing in school, and it might not be what you thought!
1. Sports
Each parent struggles with a different project, and the one I lament more is sports. The two sisters usually report, both report good things but not bad: “I did well in cricket!” “I made progress in swimming today!” “I think I’m okay at cross-country running.”
So my appetite was whetted a bit, but at the end of the semester, I was disappointed when the “massive sports showcase” came around:
The sisters were not selected for the end-of-the-school-year swimming competition.
They were not selected for the annual field hockey and out-of-school competition.
Cricket of the year and outside school competitions, and they still didn’t make the cut.
Last week’s field day was one of the hottest days of the year in London, and R and I stood in the sun, cheering our kids on at the top of our lungs.
The result? More than ten events, they did not get a medal.
The children who got the medals were surrounded by parents, teachers and classmates cheering, feeling that the whole field day, is for these top sports students exist, they are the focus of the field, full of glory.
Looking at their proud smiles with sweat, I was a little envious.
And we came home empty-handed, the whole family is a little disappointed.
I glanced at the old R and whispered, “Why don’t they have any talent for sports? I was on the school sports team when I was a kid!”
Old R shrugged and said, “It’s in my genes. I wasn’t on the sports team.”
The two children were also a little discouraged.
Sister Suki complained, “I think the teachers are biased! Every time the team goes to a school tournament, they always pick the same kids. I’m actually pretty good at cricket, but the coach never picks me to play on the A team and outside schools. And they were the ones who won medals in the games, it was always the same ones.”
My sister Sula nodded in agreement: “Me too, I scored a lot of points in the last interschool cricket match, but I didn’t make the A team either!”
Were the children really suffering from injustice, or was there something wrong with their self-perception?
I pondered over the matter and realized that what the children were saying was off.
In fact, both sisters had the opportunity to participate in off-campus tournaments, but only the kind of friendly tournaments in which all students participate: my school’s A team plays the outside A team, and my school’s B team plays the outside B team.
But what they meant was that if only one team was chosen to represent the school, they wouldn’t have a chance because the coach had to pick the best, and the best kids were always the ones who played.
The “sports core” in Suki’s class was always the same English kids: Olive, Naomi, Josh, Josephine, Alex, and they were always on the A-team, no matter what kind of ball, soccer, cricket, field hockey.
What’s even more exaggerated is that when it comes to field day, these are the same kids with medals around their necks! They were good at running, long jump, relay, everything, even swimming competitions.
They really made a lot of money!
But is the teacher really biased?
No surprise, because these five kids have been practicing sports since preschool! Every Saturday is ball training, not to mention, usually at least two afternoons are participating in sports interest classes. And all of them have more than one, the standard is swimming + soccer, and then a cricket or field hockey or tennis or even more. In short, these kids are trained to be all-rounders in sports.
People really put their heart and soul into sports. From pre-school to fourth grade, they are already far away from other kids in terms of physical fitness. They are well-trained in all kinds of ball games, and if the school wants to achieve results, they will definitely be on the A-team list.
So, we can’t really blame the teachers for being biased, because we don’t have any Saturdays to dedicate to sports, and the sisters are just not as capable as these kids, so what is there to be aggrieved about?
What do my kids do on Saturdays? They play music. Each kid has three instruments, so that’s where they spend all their time.
2. Music versus sports
I was just sighing the other day with my classmate’s mom, whose daughter is on the A team in swimming.
I said, “Once we get to the stadium and the swimming pool, it feels like my kids are drowning, and they can’t get a turn at any medals.”
The classmate’s mother looked at me in amazement: “But when it comes to concerts, your kids are always on stage, and you can see them both everywhere! As soon as the instruments are played, my kids don’t have much to do. You can’t have everything.”
When she said that, I realized: Yes, I can’t do sports, but my sisters are the mainstay of concerts and music competitions!
By the end of the school year, there were one concert after another at school. My sister Suki plays piano, horn, and cello, and my sister Sula plays piano, horn, and flute, and she has a voice, and won first place in the school music competition for her solo last time.
When it comes to music, it’s their turn to stand in the spotlight.
The thing about hobby classes is that you really get what you put in, and you can’t have everything. Sports and music both take a lot of time to practice, and there aren’t many kids who can win medals in sports and play solos on stage.
These two interests are the most time-consuming, and you usually have to choose to devote yourself to one and play the other for fun. You can’t complain that you can’t compete with others because there’s only so much energy a child has, unless they are gifted in both sports and music.
By the end of the school year, parents feel the same way: children who excel in sports or music get a lot of attention in school, have a very strong presence, and can help build their child’s confidence because there are many activities to showcase them and everyone comes to see them.
But those children who do excel in sports or music do so because they start early and stick with it.
In sports, for example, some of the most highly regarded students in the grade have been practicing sports from preschool until now, several times a week, and they never stop. There were other students in grades 2 and 3 who liked soccer, field hockey, and cricket, such as Suki, but they just couldn’t catch up with them, not in terms of physical fitness or skill.
It’s the same with music, it’s all about perseverance.
3. Music
When I look back on the two sisters’ musical journey, I actually have a lot of tangles and hang-ups. For crying out loud, it’s really not easy to have two kids with three instruments each!
In fact, at the beginning, I didn’t specifically plan for them to learn so many instruments, and it seems to have come to this by mistake. They both started piano lessons in first grade, which I had planned from the beginning.
But when the opportunity to study at a top conservatory became available, I thought it was rare and let them go. In second grade they were assigned the horn, which I was hesitant to do at first, but I stuck with it.
By third grade, the sisters’ schools had each assigned a third instrument! My sister learned the double bass and my sister learned the flute.
I was freaking out back then! I thought the stress of chaperoning was going to kill me with a brain hemorrhage!

Luckily, the girls practiced their third instrument at school, so I didn’t have to put any effort into it, which was a false alarm.
Even so, I took two children to learn piano and horn, all the way to today, the struggle and effort here omitted 100,000 words ……

But today, we are finally starting to see the sweetness: the two sisters are far more musically capable than their classmates, so they are always present at concerts and music competitions, and they have become famous in school. They began to realize that music gave them a great sense of honor and confidence.
Like sports, music is difficult to “bend the curve” and it is the children who start early and keep going that make the difference. For example, other students start learning instruments in third grade and are given opportunities to perform at school. But the reality is that when it comes to competitions, it’s the best of the best who participate, exactly like in sports.
When my kids were younger, I was terrible at learning so many instruments with them, especially when they resisted.
But after third grade, I rarely heard them say things like “I don’t want to practice” because they realized the benefits: they were the most musically capable one in the class, and they could perform on stage every time, and their pride gave them the drive to practice.
There is also the fact that the choice of multiple instruments, although exhausting, was later found to be advantageous.
The piano is considered the number one instrument, but it is so rolled up that there are a lot of kids in the school who started taking piano lessons at the age of 4. For example, there is a 7th grade piano kid in Suki’s grade.
But it’s different because they have a second instrument that they can hold, the horn. A child with a 7th grade piano can only perform piano solos, but Suki is in the symphony orchestra, wind ensemble and jazz band, and she is in every performance everywhere. At the end of every concert, a parent admiringly says to me, “Your child knows so many instruments.”
When it came time for her to run for the Music Caption in 5th grade, Suki was also very competitive and eager to try out.
Suki’s bass exam was Discintion, and she loved it so much that she begged us to buy her a bass.
The music teacher said that having more instruments is an advantage for applying for music scholarships. When you apply for a scholarship in 7th grade, in addition to a grade 5 in your first instrument, you will be more competitive if you have a second or third instrument, and schools want kids who are well-rounded in music.
My sister Sula performed on the flute last week. She is also learning her third instrument at school, and I did not practice with her at all. She also has a specialty in voice, which is also outstanding in her grade. If you apply for a music scholarship when you enter 7th grade, vocal music counts as an instrument for extra credit.
When children feel that their musical strengths bring a lot of honor, they are more motivated to play the piano.
4. Academics
Practicing sports and playing music are both hard work, but today, I have seen firsthand the confidence and opportunities that music and sports can bring to a child. Both of these interests need to be started early and kept going, and it’s actually harder to “catch up” later.

The one program that can “catch up” is probably academics.

In the middle and lower grades, children who are good learners don’t have a lot of opportunities to perform, and they don’t get a lot of attention in school. In the upper grades, however, there are many math and science competitions, and children who do well in school get a lot of credit. Learning is also easier to do to progress and exceed.
It’s not very actionable to do music and sports at the same time, both of which will steal time. But there are a lot of kids that are academic + sports, or academic + music. The classroom teacher also suggested to us that by 7th grade we could apply for both academic and music scholarships, so that the amount covered would be more.
My advice for hobby classes is to let your child try all kinds of interests from 4 to 6 years old, including music and sports. After age 7, it’s best to go deeper in one of the music or sports. If you stick with it and do the best in school, then your child can get a lot of resources. Then learning depends on the backbone, which becomes more important the higher the grade.

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