How to teach children to appreciate art and beauty
The openness to values and specifically to beauty, is not a superfluous luxury in the educational process, but is fundamental for the personal formation of the child. To teach children to appreciate art and beauty it is necessary, first to awaken in the child the capacity and sensitivity to recognize the beautiful; and then, placing him in front of a beautiful work to let him be impressed by it.
The ancient Greeks divided the arts in superior, that allowed to enjoy the works through the superior senses, sight and hearing, without the need to enter into physical contact with the work; and lower, with which you come in contact through the sMinor entities, taste, smell and touch. However, in the child, touch has a unique importance to take charge of reality and, therefore, we must pay attention to it as an area of relationship with the beautiful reality.
Guidelines to bring art and beauty to children
With these premises, you can plan some experiences of relationship with beauty, in two stages: the first, awakening in the child the capacity and sensitivity of recognition of the beautiful; the next, place it in front of a beautiful work to be impressed by it. Bearing in mind that all the exercises you do must have a playful nature, they should be an occasion of rejoicing for the little one.
1. Music: you sit in a quiet and quiet place and prepare to write the lyrics of a song. The "protagonist" of it is the child himself - his characteristics, tastes, hobbies * -. Try to make it simple so that later it becomes easy to play music; can be of the popular type or any type of stanzas, even if they are ripioso verses ("Mary at school well studied / pains her parents never gave them / and her house filled with joy ...). Try to be the same child who decides what he wants to express himself, but you help him compose the verses, then you have to put music, a very simple melody to sing it in. If the child has notions of some instrument, you invite him to accompany the singing.
The lyrics can be played on the board of your room, because it is "your" song, and, maybe, you can record the song so that it can also be saved.
In a second moment, you hear together the children's symphony of Sergei Prokofiev, Peter and the Wolf, discuss the instruments that are involved and how they can express feelings and all kinds of realities.
With this you already have the child in a position to attend a concert, which you will choose according to the interpretation of the works you may like.
2. The Sculpture: As in the previous exercise, you sit in a quiet place, devoting all your attention to playing with the child. You are ready to make a sculpture and together you decide what you are going to represent. You can have a model (a vase or any object that lends itself), make a previous drawing, maybe a photograph of a person * You take a handful of clay to mold and you go making the sculpture. If it's easier, you can use simple plasticine. It is advisable to strive to make the best possible and, above all, to realize the difficulty involved in carving an image. When it is finished, you place it on a base to keep it in your room.
Then you can take it to a museum or exhibition, to contemplate sculptures and admire its beauty and the skill of the artist.
3. Painting: You see photographs of the child, preferably recent. You will have to finish choosing only one. First, you analyze the gesture of the face, what feelings it expresses (it was happy, angry, worried ...). It is a first criterion to assess the photographs, if they only show the image or if, in addition, they have expressive content. You keep selecting, according to the memories they awaken: it was a fun, happy day ... Afterwards, the setting, the surroundings, the colors are judged ... The best valued photograph is placed in a prominent place in your room.
Another day, we go to a museum or painting exhibition, trying to stop before works that can impress him and dialogue with him about the paintings as we did with the photographs.
4. Architecture: we have to imagine "our ideal house": first where we would raise it, because a construction must harmonize with the environment and not tarnish it; what shapes we would give it -facades, doors, windows-; materials, colors. Then we went to the interior, how would the rooms - bedrooms, living room, dining room - what kind of furniture would we like ...
Then we can take a walk around the city to see different types of buildings, some beautiful and appropriate to the environment and others that can be an authentic aggression.If we have occasion, we visit a stately building, for example a palace, to contemplate the luxuries of a time that today we would consider uncomfortable.
Tips to awaken cultural interests in children
- Between 6 and 9 years old, your son will happily accept any occasion of activity shared with you, the content is the least: exits, visits, narrations, readings, drawings ... It is a good time to accustom him to this mode of leisure, which later will claim you the same .
- Between 10 and 12 years old, the child becomes more curious and can begin to awaken interests towards different manifestations of culture and art. You will begin to import the ideas and hobbies of others, and especially yours to confront them with yours. You will find yourself in the best moment for those shared activities of cultural content.
- There are many adapted bookss for the little ones with beautiful illustrations, that tell the life of an artist or explain in a simple way the secrets of music. Take advantage of any occasion to give culture through these "small" masterpieces.
- Do not obsess over the topic of cultural activities. You must adapt them to your family and particular rhythm, while combining it with other outputs. The important thing is that you plan it with enthusiasm, making it appealing, with the participation of all and even inviting friendly families.
- Take advantage of the possibilities offered by the Internet. Sit with the children on the computer, research, enter the pages of the museums, read about what you will see. In this way, once in front of the work of art, the child will be able to take more advantage of what he has before his eyes.
There are many different occasions, in the day to day, in which you can teach to appreciate the beauty of your children. Take advantage of the material they give each quarter and organize a related activity. Something as simple as visiting the Archaeological Museum when they give -in Knowledge of the Middle- Prehistory, or plan an excursion to get to know a Renaissance church when studying the 15th and 16th centuries.
Advisor: Mª Ángeles Almacellas
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