By Jill Simeone -
My mother and her team partner, Gail, taught primary school for almost 40 years (each!), and over and over they've been told by their former students that the greatest mark they left on their lives was teaching them to appreciate art and music history. (I suppose teaching a thousand kids to read was a big deal too.)
My Mom & Gail designed a program they called "Notes & Strokes", which led early learners through several of the major works of art history and classical music. By the end of the year, the kids were talking about Picasso's blue period and humming Beethoven's Fifth. What was most interesting about the program, and what really engaged the young minds, was that the children actually danced and played to the music, and had the chance to make their own works of art inspired by the masters. My Mom and Gail found a way to scale some truly profound masterpieces, so they could be loved and absorbed by very young kids.
Inspired by their program, we have been talking a lot about portraiture in our house lately. We've been looking at some great works and trying our hands at making portraits and self-portraits. We even went to Met and sketched.
The next five days have a forecast of rain (at least in NYC), so why not pull out those pastels and your old art history books and share some art love with your little ones? It's a ton of fun!