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    Messes & Magic With Our Voices & Hands

    Written by: Naomi Goodale

    So if you haven’t heard now-ya-heard that the U.S. curricula, especially in recent years, has made the rapid shift towards the “common core” subjects of reading and math with a stronger basis in critical thinking. Now although I am huge supporter of critical thinking-based education philosophies and I am certainly not trying to ‘dog on’ the new curriculum all together, I can’t possibly be alone when I say: WHAT ABOUT MUSIC AND THE ARTS!? Our children THRIVE on these things as part of their development. And what about those children who will only—if at all—be exposed to it at school? This is where I INDEED have a problem with the system.

    Now, I don’t claim to have much of a personal objective look at ‘common core’ as I have not taken the time to do so AND as of the moment—considering our choice not to vaccinate our children—once the girls ARE of elementary school-age, the public and private route may not be an option for us (should this vaccine bill withstand the test of time that is). However, I have talked to many parents about it and the feedback is quite a mixed bag of ‘likes’ and ‘dislikes’ surrounding the curriculum.

    BUT just so you know…I don’t typically take a ‘go’ at a topic I haven’t qualified myself in the field of knowledge surrounding, so this won’t be some sort of analytical post about ‘common core’; nonetheless, a post intended to remind all the parents reading these words JUST HOW INVALUABLE music and art is to the overall—namely— ‘intellectual’ development of a child’s brain and their SOUL.

    Just spend fifteen minutes scanning the internet and discover a plethora of research to date that supports the vitality and benefits brought on by music and creative art therapy in the development of fine motor skills, language, decision making, visual learning, inventiveness, cultural awareness, improved academic performance etc. These are indispensable aspects of a well-balanced individual operating in the world in which live. Now I am not saying that math and reading shouldn’t be emphasized, because I absolutely don’t believe that (they are just as important), but at the expense of music and art? No, not even a little.

    If we stopped for even a moment to really contemplate such developmental milestones in our children, furthermore ALL the careers in the world that have to do with creative decision making and ability within the realm of design and aesthetics—manufacturing of consumer products or systems software etc.—maybe THEN we would realize just HOW crucial these aspects of early-education truly are. Perhaps then we would all be motivated enough to take action in challenging ourselves as parents, first and foremost, to help foster a love for music, movement, and creative arts within our kids— so we may then come together to challenge the current curricula in those areas that are gravely lacking.

    WE HAVE A VOICE. WE HAVE THE POWER TO CHANGE THINGS.

    Perhaps only after we TRULY internalize the value of music and creative arts for ourselves, we may then work together passionately towards re-instilling such EQUAL emphasis on music and art within our children’s schools. As a mother and an art and music LOVER myself, I am hell bent on making sure that my girls are exposed to it ALL. So much so that we have turned one of the rooms in our house into an ‘exclusive’ art, dance, music, meditation room. And it should go without saying that we have a BLAST in that room on a regular basis making messes and magic with our hands, our bodies, our instruments, and our voices; and while it may seem crazy to some people, I wouldn’t have that room serve ANY other purpose!

    And since today is ‘Music Monday’ allow me to share a CHILLING ‘A Capella’ cover of ‘Amazing Grace’ that I recently saw on a Facebook Friend’s page. These women are incredible and their voices angelic! I can only hope one day to sing like this with my baby girls. And I do hope you enjoy it too! Happy Monday everyone!!!

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    Photography by: Natalia Cruz

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