The Power of the Arts

Simeon is in a play this weekend. It is “The Seussification of Romeo and Juliet.” Yes, just imagine that Dr. Seuss and Shakespeare got together for a few drinks and decided to collaborate! Simeon is Romeo and one of his best friends plays Juliet (“No, I’m not kissing Margaret!”) At any rate, it promises to be fun and I’m looking forward to attending. My son has had many challenges in school, but I love what happens when he moves into the theater. He has an amazing memory and can master the lines with ease. He has a wonderful sense of physicality and a great ear for tone and music. He is in his element on stage and the success he finds there bolsters him.

I work in the early childhood education business. Yesterday the owner of the company was “fit to be tied” because she’d read an article that said that many of the schools in our district were cutting out the music and art programs. These were the same schools that were putting ‘smart boards’ into the PreK classrooms at $8000 a pop. I understand that computer technology is important. I understand that there are a zillion learning programs that can be downloaded. But studies prove that a little person’s curiosity and ability to solve problems develops naturally through exposure to music and the arts and good old fashioned play.

I know this is true for my kids. The act of creativity IS the act of problem solving. A mind that can memorize the lines of a play or learn the fingering for a guitar or can understand the tones in a scale, can also figure out the dimensions of a building, or how to develop an interactive accounting program or how to motivate a classroom. Or how to take some new idea and make it into a reality. Am I sounding passionate here? I am.

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2 thoughts on “The Power of the Arts

  1. Amen Natalie! Our youngest was adopted from China at age 3. She came to us speaking Mandarin ONLY and she also has physical challenges in her arms, elbows and fingers. Within 3 months she spoke perfect English for a 3 y/o and it was achieved all through creative play, music, art, etc… It breaks my heart that the little ones must be so techinally advanced when all they really want to do and NEED to do is play. My eldest is 16 and he too comes alive on stage or in his writing. I feel taking that away will hurt not help our children. PRAYING for things to go back to the old-school ways!!!

    Many Blessings,
    Amy <

    • Hi Amy, all we can do is pray and advocate! I’m going to the school board meeting tomorrow to voice my concern. It’s the first time I’ve ever done this, but I realize that folk need to speak up. By the way, the play was great! It was completely insane and very funny and I loved watching the students throw themselves into their roles. Art makes a difference and play works!

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