Saturday, January 26, 2008

Music and Art

What is missing from the public school classroom? Music and art! Sixth graders are often tossed about during the day- subject to subject- class to class. No time to just be for themselves....
My goal is 30 minutes- half of the days I read aloud- the other half I play classical music. At first they asked if I would play "their music" or read "this book". Standing firm- I told them to be truly educated they needed to hear the classics in literature and music. I believe that they do not have to be totally involved- just let it fall over them like a waterfall. Then, one day, when they are exposed again, they can say " I've heard that one before!"
And then there is the art. The mediums are conducive to my room- watercolor, crayons and colored pencil. The canvas is the all important "xerox paper" (please do not tell my fellow teachers that I "waste" this precious resource)! First, the pictures were their names (I give no guide). Now they are venturing into cartoons and landscapes. Sometimes there will be a chat or two - while I read or play the music- but often it is silent of chatter. Pretty amazing for 23 students - most diagnosed as ADHD.
Maybe, I will borrow a picture or two to share with you. What I cannot borrow is any more time from their day for the "frivolous things" of art and music! This is where being a homeschooler is a major advantage!
Should I do what my dad suggested long ago- get that silly admin license and open a school where the arts are where they belong? For those who value their time in art and music seem to value their knowledge in other places as well.


Anonymous said...

I guess we are fortunate in our Catholic school The kids have art and my dd is in 2 bands and in choir as well. She is in 6th grade. I had neither when I was in school.

Judy said...


When I was still teaching 5th grade and in my own classroom, I always had classical music playing softly in the background. It did SO much to help my students focus and stay calm! Even (especially?) the really "angry" inner city boys!

Anonymous said...

In the "old days", when I was doing child care at home, I always had classical music on in the background. It helped calm the babies and me too!