We are off and rolling for another fantastic school year, making Art, Music, Dance, and Drama. What comes along with participating in an Arts class is the requirement that students continue to develop their artistic skills outside of school. In short, students need to practice. Getting your child to practice is, of course, a tricky subject. Kids love making Art, Music, Dance, and Drama while they are with their teachers in class. But, motivating them to work independently outside of the classroom requires that students develop their capacity to be self-motivated and organized.
Here are a few tips to help parents support the making of Art at home and away from the classroom:
SURROUND YOUR CHILD WITH ART.
Kids love to copy, so make sure they hear and see a lot of Art, Music, Dance, or Drama. It is also wonderful to expose children to family members and other adults who make music, draw, sketch, paint, or dance for enjoyment. Examples include playing a lot of music around the house, taking your child to live concerts, Art shows, or museums, and signing up your child for group acting lessons or summer music camps.
MAKE PRACTICE A PRIORITY.
Kids get excited about making Art when they hear/see their progress. The only way to make progress is for kids to practice consistently. Studies show that parents who support practice have kids who stick with making Art for much longer.
BUILD STRUCTURE AND ROUTINE.
Set up the same time/place each day and help your child remember and/or begin to practice their Art form. Try to incorporate practicing art daily. Even if your child only spends 5 or 10 minutes playing their instrument, drawing, dancing, or acting, they will build the habit of practice, which is incredibly powerful.
FUN COMES FROM MASTERY.
Establishing a strong Art focused practice habit takes time, throughout which your child will grow and change. Mastery takes time to develop. Hang in there and realize that each day is just one more step in this journey of 1,000 steps. Learning to make Art is complicated, and your consistent support will be appreciated.
Written by Brian Vincent, Upper School Music Teacher and Head of Department for the Performing Arts at Hangzhou International School