This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every moring: great is thy faithfulness. The Lord is my portion saith my soul: therefore will I hope in him. The Lord is good unto them that wait for Him, to the soul that seeketh him. It is good that a man should both hope and quietly wait for the salvation of the LORD. Lamentations 3: 21-26

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Children and Performing Art Part II

As I mentioned in another post we were able to see a ballet performance of Romeo and Juliet. Because the boys’ ballet classes share the company’s facility we’ve been trying to discreetly and respectfully follow the company’s rehearsal of the ballet—they have put months into this, and I truly think it has been beneficial to whet the boys’ interest to sit through a three hour story ballet. They’ve seen all the hard work and sweat and patience that the dancers have put into this. They’ve seen the reality that what is seen on stage is just a heartbeat in the life of a dancer—granted it is the accented beat! But it is still just a fleeting moment.

In my opinion it is extremely important to expose them to performances. It is also just as important to expose them to the behind scenes efforts that it takes to create a production. How to do that?

Take lessons. Expensive? Most likely. Will you ever get the money back in a child trying to pursue a professional career? Doubtful. But it is no different than the money spent on sports, and most children will not grow up to be professional athletes. Disciplines learned in artistic pursuits follow someone through a lifetime, just as do athletic pursuits. It is not necessary, but can add to the enjoyment of watching if one has attempted an instrument, acting or dance, or sporting event.

Learn at home if outside lessons are too expensive. We do our piano lessons at home. It has been a wonderful experience. Any introduction will make it easier to pursue at a more traditional manner in the future.

Other ideas: read plays aloud as a family. We always hear about the importance of reading stories aloud to children—it is hugely important!! Reading plays aloud can be a really great tool also. Take it a step further and try putting on a family or homeschool group play; a great way to have hands on learning about sets and costuming. Even easier—stage a puppet show. Take a favorite story, Winnie the Pooh, Wind in the Willows, or a Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and have the children work out the scenes. Learn about script writing.

Unarguably homeschooling can sometimes limit opportunities for participation in productions, both as a viewer or a participant. But public and private schools, under pressure to teach basics and meet government criteria, aren’t able to provide enough opportunities to suit my wishes either. With a little extra effort children learning at home can have even more in-depth experiences with the arts than they would in a more traditional setting. No matter your family’s personal choices for education, you can’t go wrong encouraging artistic pursuits!

Part I here.


freetofly said...

Such great ideas. I completely agree with all you said. Much wisdom and creativity there.

I would also add that what helped us as a home school family, is beginning a drama ministry for the children at church, to be able to act out various either biblical scenes, and give intro and summaries of them, and also to do dramas of biblical principals...they learned so much doing this. It was such a blessing, it made the Word real to them. And the discipline of practice, taking correction, pushing past their fears, and standing back and watching God do something great through them! Those were great times! And ANY denomination could do them, if not during Sunday mass or service, then a special thing on a Saturday or so...It was particularly wonderful how the older people enjoyed seeing the young people perform!


Slender Octopus said...

Great list!!!