Can you see the music: the philosophy of a two year old

Driving home from my folks’ house the other day, the child asked me what a noise was. I told him it was music. Then he said, but I can’t see it! He asked me what it was and why we couldn’t see music. I had to think about it and said that he couldn’t see the instruments that were making the music, but that sometimes you can see them.

Then I spent the next 35 miles thinking about it all.

We can see music. We can see it when it moves through water. We can see if when we see the strings move. We can see it when skins vibrate on a drum.

Music is waves and we can see them.

But to get such a proper bonkers, philosophical question from a 2 year old makes me think- what else do kids do or say that we just don’t pay enough attention to. There is that old adage, “From the mouths of babes,” which is apparently out of the Bible and has the sense attached to it that young people say some really wise things. So young people are worth a good listen and the Little Dude proved it this week!

He’s not got that many words yet and his sentences don’t always make a whole load of sense. But if there are actual little nuggets of wisdom that come out of his mouth, then there are absolutely loads more nuggets that we’re probably not hearing from our kids in school. There will probably be loads of guff, because there is a whole amount of guff out of everyone speak is from time to time. But we need to listen.

We need to need to hear what kids have to say, because they’re living through odd times in a different way from anyone else. Social media, the pandemic, a brave new world. There are so many things that are making young people’s journeys through life complex and so many ways that no one will actually understand, because the of the intersection of bonkersness that has been the last 18 months is unprecedented so we need to understand how young people experience it and to do that, we need to see it, hear it and engage with them.

Two-year olds apparently get some proper philosophy concepts, so we need to see what the big’uns have to say!

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