My seven-year-old daughter and I dressed up for a special evening out together. After years of attending Cleveland Orchestra children’s programs and listening to stories of composers at home, she wanted to attend a “real” concert.
We settled in velvety seats, excited to see a college symphony perform.
When the music started she was silently enraptured. The man sitting behind my daughter leaned forward. I assumed he’d whisper his delight at seeing a music-loving child in attendance. Instead he informed me I was an idiot for bringing her. He was sure she’d wreck his evening, although he stomped away from his seat too soon to find out.
It’s assumed kids and fine arts don’t go together, or not till assignment-laden Shakespeare is imposed on high school students. Wrong!
The arts can be joyfully woven into children’s lives from babyhood on.
These days my kids (now teens and young adults) eagerly engage with the arts. They go to plays, enjoy new classical music scored for video games, and keep up with literature.
During a recent discussion I overheard my kids relate the theme of a current movie to Homer’s Odyssey, tied together with quotes from a Terry Pratchett book plus a cartoon meme.
Lightning fast, funny, and sharp. No curricula could possibly keep up.
Here’s the enjoyment-based way my family has gotten comfy with fine arts: