Friday, March 12, 2010

An Arts Education

I have been wanting to expose my DD to more classical composers and artists.  It's very easy to just get so focused on the 3Rs that all other things lapse.  I wanted to share with you what I was attempting to do this month.

First, I consulted an events calendar like the one at Enchanted Learning.  I don't recall if that's for members only, but if so, I know there are others online.  From the calendar, I picked Chopin who's birthday was March 1, J.S. Bach who's birthday is March 21, and Vincent Van Gogh who's birthday is March 30. 

Second, I went to my library's online catalog and let my fingers do the walking through the books.  There are actually a lot of books available on different musicians and artists at various levels.  Most are at least read-aloud level to younger children.  I very rarely actually go the the library to pick out books.  It saves me so much time to have them pick them for me, so I can just run in and check out!

Third, I found some additional resources to support the books.  I found a cool website at Classical Archives . They have all the greats composers and offer many selections for listening to free online.  At least enough to give the taste of the composer.   Don't forget Youtube as a possible source, too.  We watched/listened to Horowitz play Chopin.  Two masters in one sitting! As far as artists go, many websites offer copies of various pieces of art for students to color themselves.  Again, I went to Enchanted Learning for some copies of art.

Fourth, now do it.  Reading books about composers and artists are just as much a part of reading aloud as any other book.  Just  substitute these books for a day.  Listen to the composer while you read the book or while you do schoolwork.  Take a few minutes to do the copy of the artist's painting.  Sure, you can get all kinds of arts-fartsy art supplies, but just plain ole' coloring with crayons or colored pencils can be beneficial as well. Personally, at this point, I'm more concerned with exposure to great works than making my dd into an artist!

Fifth is a step for those of us who do classical studies or Charlotte Mason.  Journal it!  Write down or have your student write down some facts about what you read and learned.  You could even do it on the back of the artwork if you wanted.  Again, this brings it back into the Language Arts realm which means more bang for you buck, so to speak!

You know, even if you couldn't find time to fit something like this into your normal schedule, maybe you could add it for something fun to do during the summer.  Oh, as far as some things are available only to members while others are available to all.  I personally went ahead and joined because it does offer a great variety of things on one site and the time it saves me is worth it.

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