If you’d like to give back to the community in a special way, consider starting with the children. The old saying that children are the future is true, and it is important to invest in them right now. Consider a community where the children don’t have access to the same resources as others due to financial lack. One of the best ways to impact children in a positive way is through the arts. Exposing children to the arts at a young age can help to build their confidence, give them tools of expression, and serve as a therapeutic outlet. Here are four exciting ways you can expose children to the arts.
Dancing is such a fun hobby because it gives students a chance to enjoy movement and become more comfortable with their bodies. It’s also a dynamic way to encourage children to get up, get moving and exercise.
Find a teacher that’s willing to offer their time, and that shares different styles of dance. Tap dancing and ballet are just one example of dance styles that children often love.
During Hispanic Heritage Month, teach a cardio dance class that includes salsa moves and Zumba beats. During Black History Month, find a musician who can play the African drums and provide live music for the dance class. As the children get more comfortable with using their bodies to express their emotions, they’ll develop a confidence that’ll be hard for anyone to take away.
Another great way to expose children to the arts is through photography. These days, when most young children think of photography, they naturally think of their smartphones. However, you can introduce them to the fine art of photography and show them that there is much more to it than snapping a picture with their phones.
If possible, purchase a bunch of disposable cameras. These type cameras are ideal for teaching photography because they’re easy to replace and difficult to destroy. Every few weeks, each student gets a new disposable camera to capture the world as they see it.
Assign the class different subject matters. Take a field trip to see what a community member like Neill Sullivan Oakland is working on. Community members like Neill are intentional about working to beautify and restore neighborhoods. As the students capture different subjects and finish different photography projects, collect the photos and ask the children to choose one or two for a final display at the end of the class term.
Music is another wonderful way to expose children to the arts.Music is one of the few languages that anyone can understand. When you’re working with a lot of children at one time, it might be a good idea to focus on vocal performance instead of instrumental music. It’s also a lot more cost-effective.
Start a choir with children who love to sing. Teach them various melodies and how to sing in harmony. Encourage the students to pair off and sing duets and trios.
Another benefit to teaching music is that you can introduce children to songs in several different languages, therefore exposing them to a variety of cultures. As the class learns a song, be sure to teach them both the context and the story behind the song. This will give them a deeper appreciation for the music.
At the end of the semester, take them to a nursing home to do a concert of the songs they’ve learned. Not only will this experience put them in front of a new group of people, it’ll also brighten the day of people who may long for visits because they’re often lonely.
4. Paint and Clay
Our fourth way to expose children to the arts is through paint and clay. While it’s true that paint and clay are messy, you really can’t provide an effective art program without them. Make sure to stock up on lots of smocks and old newspapers to help keep clothes and furniture clean.
See if you can find an art teacher who can effectively teach the different styles of painting and modeling. If that’s not possible, there are tons of YouTube videos on the subject. Many artists like the late Bob Ross and other artists are featured on YouTube. Use a projector to show the videos, and encourage the children to watch the demonstrations and apply them in their artwork.