Is This Relevant?

When teaching classroom music, a very common thing for me to see are many, many hands raised above faces that threaten to just burst if you ignore them.  40% of the time, however, the comments/stories/random facts/odd questions, etc., that come out of hiding when I actually call on the student do not pertain at all to the lesson or activity at hand.  I acknowledged one such eager hand two days ago, and was asked this question by a boy student: “Have you ever taken out a frog’s brain??”  “No,” I said.  “Well, I really want to!  Its brain…or maybe its heart!”  This then led another boy to pick up on the theme: “Well, I’ve seen a chicken’s heart!  And its stomach!”  Needless to say, none of this was part of the first music lesson of the year in my planner.  So I mentally reminded myself that I must ask the student with his hand raised (and hope he answers honestly), “Is your question important…or can it wait until later?”

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