It's little things that make a difference.
I've always thought of T as my reluctant singer. When he was a toddler in story time he'd listen but not participate. After we got home he'd mimic what'd he'd seen in his own time.
At church if the music was too loud preschooler T would press his hands over his ears. Sensitive child. At home he'd bang away rhythmically on every toy instrument he could fun. What a noise.
If I tried to sing with him he'd just listen.
Eventually at four call-and-response songs began working with T (and yes he'd match notes). At five he began wanting to lead the echo songs rather than follow. He also began figuring out notes on the piano. Mary Had A Little Lamb and Twinkle Twinkle Kittle Star are both recognizable. Church changed, a little, as T began humming along to the congregation's singing. Still, in large groups he'd absorb but only copy at home.
This Sunday things were different.
This Sunday things changed.
This Sunday T sang.
Yes, sang. Sang the same words as the rest of the congregation with the congregation. Not at home later. He joined in song together. What made the difference?
His access to the words.
Words accessible to a beginning reader who needs to use his finger to follow along.
It turns out for a small reader like T just hearing isn't enough. He needs to see. And not up high, far away on the board. Right there where he can move his finger under each word and follow along reading. He's a beginner reader after all.
Would that he'd have finger access to the words of church music every week. It just might make a difference.
It's these little things that make a difference.