The Importance of the Arts
Our Little Guitarist
My Family Believes
My husband is very talented at the arts. He plays the bass very well, and can play almost any instrument he picks up by ear. He's also very talented at photography, and has an eye for it that I could never understand. I also view myself as talented in the arts. I view myself as a talented writer, but I also do very well with sculpting and other clay works, as well as having an eye for colors and design (specifically with decorating a house or landscape and matching outfits pretty well). I appreciate music as something that isn't just something to enjoy while working out or driving around. I appreciate the lyrics, the beauty of the instruments. I can appreciate all things "artsy".
We decided that we would raise our family with a base in the arts, because we believe that it's something that's important to children. They tell you when you're pregnant, to listen to music and sing to your womb. They tell you when the baby is born to listen to classical music with him to raise his IQ. You comfort your baby by singing to him when he's tired to help him sleep and you sing songs as an aid to your child's learning. Then what? Are we supposed to continue on with the learning? Do we leave it to the schools to take over for us? Should we continue on and help make them appreciate the arts and its importance?
I bought my first son his first instrument when he was about 3-years-old. It was a play drum, and he was so proud of himself walking around the house banging on it with his drumsticks. He "learned" to play "Little Drummer Boy" at Christmas time, because it was "Gramma's favorite Christmas song and I'm going to be her little drummer boy". Sure enough, he would play this song and sing it to Gramma, although he only learned "A bup a bup bup". He sang to every song he heard and recognized. He picked up my husband's talent for music, I learned. For his 10th birthday, we decided to let him pick any instrument he wanted and we would get it for him. I was personally pulling for a violin, my mother was hoping for a keyboard, and my husband was hoping for the bass. None of us had won; he wanted to play the guitar. So, a guitar is what he received. He still plays with it, though the only song he partly knows is "Love Me Do" by The Beatles. A few weeks ago, my son came home from school with a paper that talked about an optional "band" class for the 5th graders. His choices were a basic drum kit, alto saxophone, clarinet, trumpet, flute or trombone. After listening to each instrument playing modern music, he opted for the trumpet. Of course, we are doing everything possible to support him in his decision, because we want him to truly appreciate the importance of music in life without being "stage parent-y".
Our baby seems to be following in the same steps. We bought him his first baby xylophone and a baby drum (that teaches numbers and colors) and a baby guitar. He loves the music and the lights, and I love to watch him watch me sing to him. He claps excitedly at music, and the only thing that calms him down is anything music. I hope that he learns to enjoy it when he grows up as well, because I think it can bring a great deal of good to him. What's the downside of music in his life?
My family believes in the importance of the arts. We believe it adds to a well-rounded education in our children's lives. It helps them and I don't see a downside to it. I notice my son has an easier time doing his homework when he's listening to music. Often, I require music for doing housework, baking for holidays and even to write. And since my husband received his dSLR camera he's been wanting since selling his old manual SLR, he's been extremely happy and taking pictures of everything. The arts are important and we would be doing a disservice to our children by not encouraging a love of the arts and allowing schools to de-fund those programs.
Benefits of Music Education
- Music helps in learning other subjects. It also helps with hand-eye coordination, and motor skills. Music aids in problem solving abilities.
- Music can help encourage language skills.
- Music can increase IQ levels.
- Music can improve test scores.
- Music can help encourage self-expression in healthy ways.
(Information retrieved http://www.pbs.org/parents/education/music-arts/the-benefits-of-music-education/)
Art and Your Children
Though the article focuses on "At-Risk" youth, I believe the same principles can be applied to all children. The study found that when provided with art education, these At-Risk youths did better in their academic fields, had better workforce engagement, and better social awareness. This article is an interesting to read to help show that only positives come from children in art programs.(Information retrieved from http://www.nea.gov/news/news12/Arts-At-Risk-Youth.html)
It Doesn't Just Help Your Children Academically
Art Therapy is growing in America. They find that Art Therapy can help children through trauma and other children with emotional difficulties. It can also help children in every day life. They're finding that art can help relieve stress in children, help self-esteem, and enhance interpersonal skills. The use of various art techniques are used in this form of therapy to help children cope with fears and helps children express themselves with adults. The idea to to allow children to "visualize" emotions to express them. They find that this benefits children on two levels: expression of difficult emotions and a catharsis.
(Information retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/209497-expressive-art-therapy-for-children/)