Even though we are on break from school the learning always continues.
K and O are involved with the arts through music classes and theater. K also like to dabble with photography and has a great eye for it. I LOVE the fact that my kids are creative. There is no other way to describe them. :-) They get it honestly as their momma is a flute player and also teaches the flute. The arts add so much to the education of young children. It fosters creativity, multi-tasking skills, self confidence, and also music helps with math!
But, the arts also bring a big lesson in "real life". The kids learn quickly everything is not always fair and based on skills or talent. It's hard on us as parents to explain why this part went to that person or why the part was taken away even though they earned it. I have seen this many times over this year with my flute kids. One child had a blind audition for her chair placements in her high school band. As a sophomore she was placed in first chair through this audition process. Eventually the band director made her relinquish several solos to the senior because the senior was older. Yes... not because she was better but because she was older. Another student was penalized because the director believed her vibrato wasn't good enough. As a trumpet player he may not get what a flute player's vibrato should be. But, due to preconceptions about flute sounds he penalizes the better players for this. Once again not the kid's fault.
K has heard no a couple of times this year about roles in plays. One in particular really crushed her and she thought that she wasn't good enough. This role was one she had dreamed and prayed for for several weeks. Several peers and parents built K up to think she was a good fit for the role. The director chose another child. When K read the cast list it was like watching a flower wilt and wither. She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "Well I guess I am not good enough....". Oh how that breaks a mom's heart. I can honestly tell you it's probably harder on me as the mom than her as the child. Next year I add O into all of this.
Now... all that being said would I ever keep my kids out of music or theater? NO! NO! NO! What they gain is all too valuable. I watched K audition today, and for the first time she was not nervous at all. There was no tugging on the hem of her shirt! Woo hoo! This confidence will translate into all areas of her life. She is poised beyond all belief and not afraid of situations that require interaction with large groups. Her music classes are teaching her so much too. Seeing fractions for the first time this year she recognized them to be like the time signatures in her music! So fractions became a lot less scary! Yay for that one. O has also benefited. He was recommended for speech therapy classes last year. After a year in drama class he has learned many vocal exercises, and practiced diction enough that he can now be understood by everyone around him 98% of the time! What an improvement!!!
Then there's the benefit of watching your child on stage. They blossom! There's no other description. Both of my kids are so happy to be performing. You can see it on their faces. There has not been one performance to date that I have not had to hide tears. (I don't even know if my husband knows if I become a weepy mess at these performances.) These are the tears of joy for my kids and their happiness. For when they blossom it is worth all of the heartache they may have endured to reach that part. All of the music, dance and drama mommas out there know this. It's breathtaking to see your child so happy!