How To: Teach the Fine Arts

There are so many ways to teach your children about the Fine Arts!  In this post I am going to tell you about the activities and resources I have used with my own children and offer tips to help you introduce your children to the arts as well.

For the sake of clarity, when I speak of the Fine Arts I am specifically referring to Music, the Visual Arts and the Performing Arts.

One way to expose your children to the Fine Arts is obviously by getting them directly involved.  Here are a few of the ways I did this with my children:

  • My daughter took piano lessons from the age of 10 to 16.  The only reason she quit piano was because she took a job at the age of 16 and needed to prioritize her time.  The two activities she had been involved with for years were piano and ballet, and she chose to continue with ballet.
  • My daughter began taking ballet lessons at the age of 9 and was dancing en pointe at the age of 13.  She danced throughout her teen years and beyond.  As a teenager she began choreographing her own ballet compositions to perform at 4-H talent shows.  She was actually chosen to perform one of these dances at the state 4-H competition.  Even as an adult she continues to pursue her interest in dance through ballroom dance.  It is certainly one of her passions.
  • My daughter and my oldest son both took art lessons at a local studio.  My son actually has a natural talent but did not have the interest to continue pursuing art (his passions are golf and politics!)
  • My middle son, now 17-years old, played the saxophone in the local home-school band for five years.  In the last couple of years he has taught himself to play the guitar and, in my opinion, is really quite good.

Besides getting your children actually involved in Fine Arts activities, there are community resources and curriculum resources that can enhance your home-school.  For instance, last weekend I took my 9-year old to a community theater production of “The Sound of Music.”  My 9-year old seems to have a natural affinity for acting so I wanted to take him to the show to introduce him to theater and see if it’s something he might be interested in.  He loved it!  And he definitely said he wanted to be in a musical someday.  We’ll see!

I suggest that you check out your community theater for productions that your children might be interested in attending…or even performing in!  Additionally, if you have a college nearby, no matter how large or small, including community colleges, they often have theater productions that are family-friendly and inexpensive to attend.  They are definitely worth a look.

Likewise, you could check into community music recitals and orchestral productions, especially at Christmas.  And if you have a chance to attend a showing of significant artwork, do take advantage of it.

As far as curriculum resources are concerned, there are innumerable products out there, some of them specifically targeted at home-schoolers, to introduce your children to the Fine Arts:

  • When it comes to classical music, there are too many resources to mention but my favorite of all time is the Music Masters CD’s.  I had this collection years ago when it was in cassettes.  I plan to purchase my own set of CD’s soon for my 9-year old son.  What I love about these CD’s is that they combine the story of a composer’s life with excerpts of their work.  I actually learned a lot myself from these CD’s.  I strongly encourage you to check out the various composers in the Music Masters CD’s series…in my opinion you will not find a better way to introduce your children to the great composers!
  • The Spiritual Lives of the Great Composers by Patrick Kavanaugh
  • Draw and Write Through History – I have never used this resource but it comes highly recommended, so highly that I am considering getting one of the books for my 9-year old next year!
  • The Masters of Art series – some examples would be Giotto and Medieval Art, Leonardo da Vinci and The Impressionists.

I hope you find this information valuable and I also ask that if you have recommendations concerning resources you have used to teach and/or expose your children to the arts, please share them in the comments!

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  • Great ideas Anne! I especially love the idea of tying fine arts and art appreciation in with history. I will definately be checking out the Music Masters CD’s and the Draw and Write Through History books.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks Rachel!  I do love the interdisciplinary approach.  In home-schooling it’s often a part of “unit studies” but we don’t necessarily have to be doing unit studies as a curriculum in order to get the benefit of combining various subjects, such as history, music and art. 

      Glad you stopped by!  I appreciate the encouragement!