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September 17, 2008 / alunatunes

September 17-Hands on Activities

“Every child is an artist.  The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”  Pablo Picasso

Occassionally through the school year, the art teacher arrives. Her visits may be scheduled weekly or bi monthly but her arrival is always heralded by a clean, clear desk and the exciting enticement of creation. The artist in a child does not see an end result. They understand the process of creation as a series of discoveries and experiments with color and texture, with crayon and paint and pencil.  Even at an early age we long to be enveloped as we settle into creation’s water and go with the flow.

As a practicing musician we may be encouraged to write toward commercial success, to create with the sell in mind. What happened to the child covered in majenta who just wanted to paint? Often we rob ourselves of our spirit as we try to bend creativity to our will. The result is a sabatage of ourselves, of our authentic need and desire to express the god within ourselves through our gift of music.

If we find ourselves pushing too hard for a lyric or a musical phrase or a just right riff, or stymied by a date in the middle of a week long tour that just will not book- it’s time to put away the instrument and calendar and pick up a toy.  Your brain needs a break . Blow bubbles outside, build with blocks, play with action figures or cars. A 24 pack of sharp crayons and a coloring book have solved many a management, financial or booking dilemma for me. Detach from thinking for just a while and you’ll be surprised to find the answers as you paint the brown squirrel in that simple paint by number you bought at the dollar depot. Remember being called out of class to help the teacher place letters on a bulletin board? Create your own bulletin board from a cork board hung in your office. Fill it with pleasing pictures cut from magazines or photos of happy times or special places. If a bulletin board takes too much space make a picture journal from a blank book. Create a tangible treat for your eyes- a scrapbook of pleasurable images that call us to another place or time, whether imaginary or real. It’s amazing something so stunningly simple can be so effective. 


Detach- dream- do.


One Comment

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  1. Marv / Nov 6 2008 3:56 am

    I find this to be a great resource for teachers of all kinds: art teachers, music teachers, humanities teachers, and parents who just want their kids to soak up some culture in a fun way:

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