Monday, November 19, 2012

Benefits of Music Education For Children

Do you ever wonder what advantages are achieved through learning music? Read on to discover the many benefits of music education.

Self-Esteem
Learning music is hard work, but also very rewarding, which can lead to a genuine increase in self-esteem. This can happen when a student masters the many steps along the way to becoming proficient, as well as when they have a successful recital or concert.

Increased Memory
One of the many benefits of music education is that it is a great workout for increasing memory as the student learns to recognize the different notes.

Self Expression
Music can be a creative outlet for self expression. This may take the form of learning music that mimics experienced emotions. Or it may be expressed in creating music and lyrics, which can then be presented to family and friends.

Bringing People Together
Music can be a great catalyst for uniting people in a common experience, where friends can be made, and a sense of belonging can be available.

Increased Academic Performance
When talking about the benefits of music education it is often well believed that learning music can boost academic achievement. Although the exact mechanics of this is often not understood, the belief is that learning music stimulates parts of the brain that then have a carry-over impact on all academic areas. It also provides structure and focus which may benefit other areas of learning.

Teamwork
Learning to work well with others is one of those things that when present is often overlooked, but when absent is often painfully obvious. Performing music requires the skills associated with teamwork that are valuable throughout life. In order to play an instrument successfully students need to be tuned in to what those around them are doing so that the various instruments form a cohesive unit.

Structure, Organization, and Discipline
When talking about the benefits of music education it is important to acknowledge the value that can be found in the structure, organization, and discipline that it offers. Structure and organization are important skills to be learned. They can carry a child forward in many areas of life, not just music education. When talking about discipline here we are discussing the discipline it takes for the child to set aside time each week to practice. Learning to discipline themselves can eliminate procrastination, and like structure and organization, can be valuable in all areas of life.

Enjoyment
Enjoyment may not be the top priority for many when considering the benefits of music education, but can be a great asset to consider. If playing an instrument is considered enjoyable it may take time away from less desirable things, such as watching television or playing video games. In addition to this, any activity that is enjoyable can be a great stress reliever, which may be especially important for our kids right now since they are living in a world of ever increasing stress.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Major Goals in Art Education For Children

What goals are likely to promote inquiry in art as a child? Art makes sense to children when they experience it as a basic form of expression and as a response to life. The two modes of experience-expression and response-are interdependent. Both are essential in the goals for personal fulfillment, for studies of the artistic heritage and for studies of the social aspects of art.
In order to find personal fulfillment through art, children need to learn how their lives can be enriched by their own efforts to create art and respond to visual forms.

Children enjoy manipulating art materials and even without guidance they may produce works that have expressive meaning. The activity and chance successes are poor measures of learning. If, as the saying goes, "one picture is worth a thousand words," one truly creative experience in art is worth a thousand aimless experiments with art media. We may experience pride and inner strength that come from shaping forms that express something about ourselves, genuine self-expression is not easy.

Art has the potential for making feelings and ideas vivid; but to function expressively, an art form must be created so that it captures the precise feeling and imagery of our experience. Only then can art give substance to feelings that might otherwise remain undefinded, unclear, and unexplored. Few children are such natural artists that they can easily express themselves without a supportive environment. In order to achieve personal fulfillment through creating art, children need sensitive adult guidance in mastering the following pivotal moves in the artistic process: the creation of ideas for personal expression, the discovery of visual qualities to express ideas and feelings, and the use of media to convey an expressive intent.
In daily life, we ''look at'' much more than we truly ''see,'' "feel," and "experience." If we are sensitive to our aesthetic responses we realize that we are "moved" by something because our senses are fully activated. At such moments of realization, we experience a kind of insight so uncommon and so exact that we are in awe of our own powers of perception.

Art deals with human feelings, beliefs, and conduct. Studies in art-like those in the humanities-are loaded with implications about the ideal life and the values people hold. If we treat art as if it were only a matter of learning facts and mastering techniques, we deny its value-laden character. In the public schools of this country, subjects that center on human values are taught in a comparative manner. As teachers, we should clearly emphasize that art can also be understood and experienced in different ways
Learn to generate ideas for expression through art. Art does involve a struggle to find ideas and that varied sources in their experience can be tapped for inspiration. Children can learn to generate ideas by careful observation of their natural and constructed environment. Subjects are abundant-people, places, inanimate objects, plants, animals, weather, the seasons, and special events. Imagination is the ability to form images in the mind, especially of things, that are not ''real'' in ordinary life. Fantastic, futuristic, weird, mysterious, and dreamlike events can be a source of inspiration for art. Contemplating themes can serve as a source of motivation for art. Children can learn to express their personal feelings about such concepts as love, peace, and beauty as well as hate, war, and ugliness.Inventing the necessity. Ideas can come from problems and needs to everyday life, such as wanting to make a present for someone special.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rainbow After Sandy

 Our six year old sat next to me while we watched the weather predictions for Hurricane Sandy, and immediately started thinking about how to send some cheer.  She did the math, those children would miss Halloween. 

Madeline loves rainbows, and knows that sometimes after wet weather there will be a colorful treat.  She decided to write letters to a few friends who have damaged homes and are staying elsewhere.  I cried in pride when I read what she wrote, "After a storm there will be the best rainbows!"She sorted all of our halloween candy and chose all the skittles (edible, sendable rainbows) to mail, along with some rainbow-themed art her and her sisters have done. 

What pulls at my heart is that this was ENTIRELY her idea.  All we want is to raise kind, loving children and we are beaming. 

Peace to you all!
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