With increasing focus on taking up courses that help you find a job and make a living, the stress on core subjects is overly emphasized in schools.The role of arts in a child’s curriculum is often undermined and is considered extra-curricular.
Introducing and encouraging children to involve and appreciate arts brings a lot of benefits with it. It not only encourages creative thinking but also makes them more skilled. Whether the form of art is visual, literary or performing, arts promote self-expression and innovative thinking. Arts, also provide the correct mental exercise for the little minds to discover, express and do things differently.
The starting point for taking up and pursuing any form of arts is to get inspired. It often happens with many of us that we take up some creative assignment in awe of the moment but are not perseverant enough to learn it enough to be proficient in it. This could very well be the situation with a child, too. As parents, we need to create a congenial environment for the children to foster a sense of appreciation in arts. Group learning, in this aspect provides constant encouragement. The chances that a child will show interest in a particular form of art is more, if he finds a larger group of his age involved with him in it. Also, seeing a parent being actively involved in arts and doing it together, provides a lot of encouragement to the child.
Once a child starts to take up some form of art, the next challenge is to continue it upto a level where he is able to appreciate the beauty of it. Be it painting, writing, public speaking, music, theatre or dance, it is important that we realize as parents, the more the child enjoys it, the more serious he would be about it. We have to, thus, find ways to make this learning experience more enjoyable to the child. Performing the arts in a group, participating in competitions and cultural festivals will set the stage for the child to exhibit his learnings. This not only encourages the child to pursue the art further, but also makes him more confident, sociable and teaches him to work in a group.
As the child continues to pursue art and begins to show proficiency in it, the next step is to allow him to think out-of-the-box and not restrict him. As an instance, as kids, all of us have drawn a tree as a big solid green cloud with a rectangular brown handle. Many of us still continue to do so.A tree, however, in reality has different shades of green, yellow and brown to it and has different shapes to it. We were always used to a certain way of perceiving things and we stuck with it. To allow a child not to stick to what is taught, but to encourage him to think original and different, will always take him to a different level.
To pursue an art form as a career or not, is a decision that has its own implications but at a minimum,as parents, it is important to provide enough exposure to children to recognize and appreciate the art form.
Please leave your thoughts and comments on the role of arts in the development of children.
Tejaswini is a mom to a lovely one and half year old girl, from Hyderabad, presently living in the US. She is an engineer in IT, by profession. A newbie blogger, photography and painting enthusiast, internet junkie, she enjoys reading and discovering nature when she is not running after her now naughty toddler. She is a dreamer and dreams of being a super-woman excelling at both work and home fronts, doing equal justice to both, someday. She has a personal blog at http://acacaphonyofmiscellany.blogspot.com/