Art education

Juni 2015

Early childhood music education: is it art education or general education? This is a question I asked the parents of one of my classes. The answer started in both directions and ended in the middle: it is both. And I agree. Recently it appears as if the art-side has been overshadowed by the emphasizing on the benefits for general development. But music is so much more than a vehicle for becoming proficient in language and math. It is an aesthetic experience in which beauty and emotion play a vital role. It is an expression of culture. “Art also enhances children’s cognitive processes, involving children in problem solving, thinking, and using symbol systems to record their thoughts, ideas, and feelings. In many ways, art offers a form of spiritual awareness as well, revealing itself through the heart and intuition and embodied or somatic ways of learning (Wright, 2010)”. Also according to Wright “when we have a sound theoretical background and philosophical foundation for art education, we will be continually reflecting and revising what we do with young children. We will bring expertise to our work, provide plentiful and good quality resources, and plan the learning environment so that children will be enabled to learn within it.” To make music and to engage in music young children will need their bodies, therefore knowledge of general development in terms of motor development is indispensable. Music making in a group asks for social development. In order to provide appropriate musical experiences, knowledge and appropriate application of general developmental theory is key to arrive at art. But the parents already knew that.