Only Connect

I created this blog to connect with early childhood educators, and others who share my enthusiasm for arts education in the early years.  For me, a broad definition of the arts includes: visual art, music and creative movement, dramatic play and puppetry, poetry and storytelling.  My teaching and research have convinced me of the value of art experiences to children’s development and learning.  As I write about different topics and find worthwhile resources and web links, I hope these deepen your understanding of arts education, encourage your confidence in your own creative abilities, and provide a variety of activities to explore with children. 

Recently I discovered the following quote by Susan Keller-Mathers (Building Passion and Potential for Creative Learning in Higher Education). “To fully nurture the creative potential of others requires modeling the behaviors, attitudes and actions consistent with a creative learner. Development of one’s creative expression is therefore first.”  Though I know that adults who do not believe they have artistic talent can set up environments where children’s creativity can flourish, I also know that feeding your own creative need can bring deeper meaning to your teaching and help you build deeper connections with young children.  I encourage you to connect with and to pursue a creative interest – whether it’s drawing, playing guitar, knitting or folk dancing – and bring that interest into your teaching.  You’ll be amazed by the changes that you feel in yourself and see in the children.

Learning about arts education has been such an important part of my personal and professional growth.  I moved from observing music teachers in action, to studying music and arts education, to sharing what I learned with other educators – by writing articles, by editing a newsletter, by delivering a professional workshop, by engaging colleagues in arts-based narrative inquiry and by teaching college students.  But it was not until I studied music in early childhood that I really “came to life” as an educator.  Starting a blog seemed like a logical next step and a way to share the joy of creative expression that the arts have brought to my teaching and to my life.  I hope that the ideas and resources that you will find here connect you to your creativity and to all the possibilities that come with bringing the arts into children’s learning and their lives.

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