Music, Art & Drama MAD Society
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Art & Music Appreciation vs Education

Jan 29, 2024

Many times I feel like people make music & art education way too complicated when all a person actually needs is fun arts exposure to light a fire for discovering the arts on their own vs. being asked to memorize art, artists, movements, theory and dates.

As an art school graduate, mother of 5, and a faith-based Music, Art & Drama Club leader, I have earned a unique perspective on the arts and want to share the best advice I can give plus the biggest mistakes to avoid for your budding artist, musician or entrepreneur.

Funneling students into only producing pretty art, perfect sounding music or endeavors that are instantly profitable can completely squash their creativity.

Let’s address visual art first. If your child's current instructor is only concerned with seeing art that looks good enough to frame and put on a wall, you definitely need to find ways to broaden your student’s art horizons. Find an art teacher that focuses on the process, not the product. Consider finding YouTube videos that present new mediums, careers and reasons to be creative.

Go on a date with your child and find an artist that is successful and research that artist’s path to get where they are today, what their creative process looks like, etc. Make it fun, and show support!

Then we come to music…if you think your student might have a future in music and their music teacher is only concerned with producing 2 perfect songs from your child at the upcoming recital, consider finding a much more relaxed music class or collaborative music opportunity for your student alongside the formal lessons.

Many youth groups and schools have volunteer bands. Please add comments below of places you have found in your community that are providing your child with creative outlets so others can look for similar opportunities.

When I say entrepreneurship I’m really just referring to anything new, Avant Garde, cutting edge! We are doing our kids a disservice if we dismiss all the changes in the way the world works and what the “up and coming” careers actually are. Don’t dismiss opportunities just because there are no “College Degree” titles in that field. Remember, debt is not something people look forward to having.

To really excel in music, art, theater, entrepreneurship and creative endeavors, it’s crucial to be in a community that will provide solid critiques while simultaneously supporting creativity in constructive ways. Creative people need to have their own “sports team.” Being creative is therapeutic, healing, relieves stress, promotes healthy brain activity & growth and makes us better people.

I believe we should all have ways of creating and being expressive, even if it has nothing to do with an actual career. We were, after all, created in God’s image, and he is the ultimate Creator.

I understand and respect the value of producing things like a perfect performance of a song or a piece of art that will look good above a specific couch. It’s both hard and important for artists to learn to work well with others, pay for health insurance and be reliable. As parents, specific and timely choices need to be made in the making of a well rounded artist.

Don’t be afraid to change your child’s instructors every couple years so they can be exposed to many ways of being creative and ways of teaching creativity. Don’t be afraid to have them being instructed in one place and pursuing expressing that art somewhere else with a group of people who approach the subject in an entirely different way. Just make sure that you only join groups that support your overall goals and values.

Leave a group that isn’t a good fit. Or better yet, start one with others that are looking to help their child form a “sports team for creative people.”

(MAD Hint: Find my free list of “Kid Safe Music Genres” that I use for my Music, Art & Drama club that you can download for free from the store on with The Birl Freebies and on that same website I have a land page full of YouTube videos that are kid safe for exposing your child to all kinds of art forms, and that landing page is called “MAD Society Recommends.” )

Remember, we are going for exposure and interest. The education and structure can come later. You will know when they are ready.

And one more nugget of advice coming from a mom who’s oldest got a full ride to college for piano, when you buy musical instruments, art supplies, computer programs or any tool for being creative, never buy the cheapest option. Having an instrument that is so cheap that it never stays tuned would make anyone want to quit. Their music will never actually sound good.

Purchasing colored pencils from the dollar store is like drawing with rocks. My hands physically wear out when I have to use junk colored pencils. Definitely make sure your student earns the most expensive tools before you invest. I’m a huge fan of used, borrowed, scratch & dent options over lower quality new stuff.

Support your student’s exposure to creative arts and help them find their creative sports team!

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