LeAnne Martin
Christians in the Arts

Monday, March 05, 2007

Arts Appreciation for Kids: A Love for Music

Because my husband and I love the arts, we want our daughter to love them too. And, as we look at the big picture, we know that teaching the children of the Church to appreciate the arts will help encourage the next generation of artists, art experts, and art enthusiasts. I’ve asked several fine arts teachers at Wesleyan School, a private Christian school, to talk about how parents can teach their kids to appreciate the arts. This week I’m focusing on music.

LeAnne: How can parents help their kids develop a love for music?

Dr. Ruthie Colegrove (Middle School Band Director):

Encouragement is the key! Supportive and encouraging parents are the key to a child’s success in music. I have found that the students who have the most success in band are the ones with great parent support. Parents can get involved with their child’s discipline.

By being involved in the Fine Arts, students are being influenced in the same manner as [they would if they were playing] a team sport. Skill building and effort is the same, and it is important for parents to recognize that.

Meg Foster (Middle School Chorale Director, Assistant Director of Fine Arts):

Parents can help simply by exposing their children to various genres of music, both live and recorded. Share your favorite CDs with them and tell them why you love them. Play for them what you listened to at their age. Take your children to musical events around town and at local universities.

Teach them how to sit down and really listen to live music with a critical ear. An important question to ask your children about the music they listen to is why do they like it? Do they like the beat? The lyrics? The singer’s voice? The guitar section in the middle? Or perhaps it reminds them of a particular time or place where they heard the song. Help lead the way by listening to some of your favorite tunes with your child and telling them why you like it so much. The car can be a great place to do this; talk about a live show you just attended or listen to recordings in the car and discuss. (When I was little, my mom and one of my carpool drivers in elementary school did this kind of thing. They would also ask questions like “do you know which group this is?” It was usually the Beatles or the Monkeys in Mrs. Helms’ carpool!)

More from teachers about music appreciation on Thursday.

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