Mid-Pandemic Benefits to Arts Education
In the middle of a worldwide public health crisis, it's easy to assume that a lot of things not deemed "essential" for a child (or even an adult!) should simply go by the wayside. T-ball isn't happening, so why should ballet? If they can't have after-school math, they shouldn't worry about after-school choir.
Nobody's going to blame you for not wanting to do one more hard-to-hear Zoom class with your first grader. But if you can find a way to keep engaging in the arts, you'll find significant benefits that may not have occurred to you otherwise.
Heck, you may decide not to go back to T-ball, after all.
SOCIAL EMOTIONAL REGULATION AND EXPRESSION
Children, like adults, are going through a collective trauma experience. We are all a little more on-edge, a little more likely to implode or explode...but children, unlike adults, are going to have a difficult time expressing their frustrations without the words or the life experience to really effectively communicate.
Kids, though, who are encouraged and allowed to dance, sing, draw, sculpt and play out scenarios are more likely to be able to work through trauma in their own time and without the crushing frustrations that come from an inability to speak out. There is a great deal of emotional release in having dominion over a series of colors, lines, textures, sounds and movements.
2. INCREASED PROBLEM-SOLVING CAPABILITIES
We do mourn the loss of more traditional educational options during this situation, but there is something to be found in experiences beyond the classroom: mainly, an uptick in daily situations which require patient, rational thought and outside-the-box innovations. To that end, enter: the daily artwork!
When children run into problems they can't solve in an art-making situation, they are allowed to respond differently than they normally would. Not only can they do more forgiving and show themselves compassion during difficult work, but they are more likely to come up with solutions that demonstrate flexibility, cross over into other disciplines (math, science, ELA, history) and recall learned information readily. It's a sight to behold!
3. OPPORTUNITIES FOR USEFUL SKILLS
Sometimes it's hard to get a child to love a subject such as math or reading. But when that same child falls in love with the culinary arts, they'll suddenly be far more apt to devour and determine the results of fractions, and they'll sound out words to get through a recipe if their grown-up is willing to help them out. It's a win-win!
The main downfall of a traditional classroom environment is that hands-on experiences in true adventure are very limited, because large classroom sizes and small budgets prohibit it. But with home-based arts experiences, students are able to do deep dives into their favorite subjects and often find themselves interacting with subjects they don't enjoy in new and refreshing ways!
Interested in encouraging artistic expression in your kids? Skip on over to the Merced Virtual Creativity Camp page and check out the teachers dropping locally-sourced, socially-distanced arts education right on your doorstep! <3
Thanks for reading! ~Miss Noelle