Union to Music Teachers:”don’t touch children’s fingers.” OMG

It was unbelievable to me.  A musicians’ union in the UK has reportedly advised the music teachers to not touch children’s fingers when instructing them.   Link to the article is http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/8196276/Dont-touch-pupils-fingers-music-teachers-are-told.html

This is so outrageous, that I first suspected a joke.  While this is not a teachers’ union or a reasonably credentialed education organization, it is disturbing.  Have we sunk so low in either worrying about potential libel or have we descended to a new low in not trusting teachers that we now allow advice such as this  rendered?

Rarely have I expressed anger through this blog, but I must admit, this angers me.

As a former music teacher with hundreds of accomplished former students who are now professional musicians, teachers, parents, business and civic leaders–I can tell you that touching is integral to musical instrument instruction, especially for finger placement on an instrument.  In our Power of Teaching research, we explain the proper uses of touching and some do’s and don’t’s for effective teaching.  Tactile cue-ing is a proper and effective tool in teaching many subject areas when used properly–and certainly for teaching music.

did you read the article?  What am I missing?

JW

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