One day years ago, my seventh-grade daughters, Ellen and
Polly, and their friend, Jennifer Powell and I, were on our
way to Silver Dollar City. As you do when youre on the
road, the girls started singing as we drove through the hills.
Ellen and Polly sang along in their girlish voices, but Jennifer
was obviously in a different league, even as a 12-year-old.
Ten years later, Jennifer is a mezzo, an opera singer who
has apprenticed with the Santa Fe Opera and sang this past
summer with Opera Theatre of St. Louis. (My girls were in
the audience to cheer her on.)
Jennifers talent was recognized and nurtured early.
Who knows whose child possesses the natural talent of an artist,
pianist, dancer or singer? No one can really know unless parents
and teachers provide for arts education at any early age.
Recognizing budding talent is one reason to provide your
preschooler or grade-schooler with arts education. But there
are others, says the librarys youth services coordinator,
Its important for your children to recognize
the process of art, and the creativity that is involved. Nurturing
creativity in the early years is a good way to instill that
trait in their later lives; even if your childrens dont
make their living being an artist, the confidence in feeling
that they are creative will be invaluable to them.
She recommends these books, available at the eight branches
and bookmobile of the Springfield-Greene County Libraries.
Dazzle Doodle Art by Linda Allison and Martha Weston
Dribble Drabble: Process-Oriented Art by Deya Brashears
Than Painting: Exploring the Wonders of Art for Preschool
and Kindergarten by Sally Moomaw and Brenda Hieronymus
Art by Liz and Dick Wilmes
Art Activities Around the Year by Roberta Grobel
Facts: Structures, Materials and Art Activities
by Barbara Taylor
Teachers Guide to Art Lessons by Michelle
M. McAuliffe and Marsha W. Black
Is. . . by Bob Raczka
Great Artists: Hands-on Art for Children in the Styles of
the Great Masters by MaryAnn F. Kohl and Kim Solga