With our busy school days, it can be easy to focus on reading, writing, and arithmetic and let subjects like art, music, and drama fall by the wayside, especially if those are subjects that we as parents don’t have a natural bent for. But teaching fine arts is important for a number of reasons, such as inspiring creativity, building confidence, developing focus and motor skills, and improving academic performance. Yes, the arts can be messy or loud. Yes, they take a great deal of time for practice. But in the end, the benefits are well worth it. So, how can you go about adding fine arts to your daily schedule in the Getting Excited stage of learning?
Tips for the Getting Excited Stage
While experimentation is still an important part of teaching fine arts in this stage, you might consider starting formal lessons in a subject that your child has shown an interest in, especially as he approaches third or fourth grade. Some music teachers will work with very young students, but others require students to be able to read fairly well before beginning. Here are some other suggestions:
- Collect and offer a variety of materials for your student to use for art projects. Even non-art materials such wrapping paper tubes and cardboard boxes can be useful for creating art.
- Encourage, but don’t fluff. Your student knows whether his drawing is amazing or if the song was played perfectly or not. Look for and praise improvement.
- Teach skills separately from creativity.
- Incorporate creative writing by helping your child write a script based on a favorite book or history lesson, then perform it as a family.
- Purchase a recorder and instruction books as an introduction to playing musical instruments. If the budget allows, consider purchasing other instruments, such as a harpsichord, boom sticks, a bell set, or simple keyboard, along with music books.
- Do Charlotte-Mason style picture and composer studies. Experience a work of art or piece of music, then ask questions about them to get your child to think about what they are seeing or listening to.
- Play quiet instrumental music by a variety of composers during study time.
- Attend local plays and concerts.
- Tie fine arts experiences into other subjects. For example, listen to music from different countries as you study geography or copy art styles as you study the corresponding period in history.