Writing Because of Music

My son (6) wanted to listen to music.

He loved the music, the way it felt in his body, so he danced.

He loved the music, the way it sang in his mind, so he sang.

He loved the music, the way it touched his emotions. So he found some paper and he wrote down the names of the songs.

Just…out of sheer delight. Because it existed. Because the moment was there, and we lived it, and we loved it.

That’s the kind of writing I want for six-year-olds. The kind of writing that they feel like.

The only time a child picks up a pencil, pen, or marker when they are younger than 6 years old should be when they want to, when it has been put in their environment and they are interested in it, and when they are self-directedly choosing to mark-make in a way that they find interesting and satisfying.

Yes. The only time.

No tracing. No worksheets. No adult-directed craft projects.

Only child-led play, access to materials, and adults modeling how it is a source of delight and meaning.

I earnestly believe that this would literally revolutionize a generation of kids’ literacy skills. I also earnestly believe that this would revolutionize their connection with their emotions.

Why write? Why write anything at all? There’s the literally necessary — to fill out a form at a doctor’s office, etc. There’s as a vehicle for other learning — taking notes in a class, etc.

And then there’s…because. Because we’re human beings. Because we create.

Because we love the music, and it touches us.

We spend so much time putting our children through a wringer of the first two, we make it impossible for them to access the third.

Not tonight, though. 🎶❤️

[Image description: A close-up image of a bold yellow post-it note on which is written, in childish handwriting, letters that approximate something like “SLeeL”. He was trying to write out the word “Sueltate”, the name of a Spanish & English hip-hop song from the movie Sing 2. End description.]