My students exude pure joy in my music classroom. Their barely contained excitement over our three broken ukuleles and one semi-functional toy keyboard is both inspiring and humbling. Inspiring because they naturally glean so much happiness from so little, and humbling because of the implication that this apparently reflects the wanting quality of musical resources they are used to as students in a school with a 90% economically disadvantaged population. And the uncontested number one instrument requested by my students is the electronic synthesizer keyboard - those little universes of sound in a box that open up a world of exploration and learning.
Even with our currently limited resources, one younger student wrote to me “Musik is the best calass ever.” My dream for them is what music class could be with a bit more material support.
Children are thought to learn best from self-directed, engaged exploration. Small, personal electronic synthesizer keyboards provide the perfect tools for such learning in the music classroom. Synthesizers make possible both group and self-directed learning about almost every aspect of music (notes, rhythm, timbre, composition, improv, etc.) Similarly, the headphone option on these units allows for individual volume setting, controlling for the noise sensitivities experienced by many of my students. My own children at home have an SA-76, the slightly larger version of the SA-46, and my wife and I have been very impressed with the quality of sound, durability and simplicity of the instrument.
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