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.