Why Learning to Swim is Like Math and Music

Can you recall reciting multiplication tables and solving long division problems when you were in elementary school? If you sang in a choir or played a musical instrument, do you remember performing in your very first recital?

A lot of practice and hard work led up to those moments of understanding and mastery. You didn’t start school knowing how to multiply and divide. You started with learning how to count, recognizing numbers, and addition and subtraction. And you didn’t play Beethoven in your first piano lesson. You began by learning the notes for each of the keys, proper fingering and simple scales.

With consistent practice and small steps forward, you build your skills until you could reel off “8×8=64” or play “Ode to Joy” without hesitation. Learning how to swim is a similar process – here are a few reasons why.

Begin with the Basics

We start by teaching the most basic skills – getting in the pool and understanding how your body moves in water – before moving onto more advanced techniques. We can then build on that foundation in three main stages of learning: water comfort, stroke development and stroke enhancement.

Do a Little Bit at a Time

Learning to swim properly involves practicing a skill – the right way – over and over until it becomes muscle memory. In our classes, we teach short distances to emphasize correct technique. When students perform a stroke incorrectly, our instructors gently stop them and have them do it again the proper way.

Listen, Watch, Play and Practice

Different students learn in different ways. In swim classes, our students have the chance to listen to instructors, watch other children, play hands-on activities and practice through creative drills. Through structured lessons and guided repetition, students build their confidence and competence in the water. 

Keep Going

Consistency is crucial when children are learning to swim. If they didn’t use their numbers or practice their scales for a year, they would have to start from scratch with their math and music skills. It’s the same for swimming, which is why we highly recommend that students keep up lessons all year-round (and attend Family Swim events for extra fun).

Learn more about classes at Tom Dolan Swim School.