Ben’s Trumpet by Rachel Isadora is a beautiful picture book that I have read many times to workshop participants and to college students. It conveys a strong message about how easy it is to crush a child’s creative spirit, and how important it is for adults and educators to realize the position they are in to inspire and nurture a child’s creative expression. I had avoided teaching music to young children for a long time largely because I lacked confidence in my ability to do it. And I witnessed many occasions where children felt frightened to paint because they did not want to get dirty, or who were told their drawing was no good because it was a scribble that didn’t look realistic.
Watching a skilled music teacher in action really motivated me to learn those skills myself, so that I could be the one sharing music with children, every day. Many children do not have access to music lessons and art classes. Those working with young children (for example, in day cares) can really make a difference by providing children with a variety of arts experiences they might not have otherwise. In my first blog entry, I urged readers to pursue those interests that light your creative spark, to be the one that lights the fire of creativity wherever you might be teaching. If you want further encouragement, take a moment to watch this You Tube video presentation of Ben’s Trumpet.