Monday, July 21, 2014

The Uke Lesson...Summer Studio Week 5

 So...I am learning the Ukulele!!

It's been so wonderful to be a student again and especially in an "artistic" environment. 
 My teacher tells us how important it is to just "play" around with the instrument and learn what sounds good.

He gives us just enough tips regarding form and positions that then allow us the ability to learn how to deviate from those "rules" and create something unique to ourselves.
 I've always loved to sing and I LOVE music but I have never played an instrument before.  
Starting at Ground zero... here, peeps.
 I'm not sure I can really explain the joy in learning something new and learning it while my own children listen and participate.

They LOVE to see what I am learning each week and they have begun to also understand what sounds pleasant and what's not so pleasant.
And, when they want me to play and sing along...CHILL BUMPS every time.
I had really forgotten how much time it takes to learn something new.
I am constantly trying to fit in 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there, etc...


Here are the keys to learning any creative arts.

Really, the keys for learning anything new at all.

 When I have uninterrupted time to really sit down, practice what I've learned, and feel free enough to be a little creative and just "play around" with the instrument... it feels so satisfying.
When I think about all the things our children are trying to learn and everything is new to puts quite a lot of meaning to the "WHY" children need SO MUCH TIME to just play.

Playing around is how we all process what we are learning.  Practice, clarify, and then begin to create our own little something that's unique to ourselves.

But...there are some circumstances that need to be present in order for creativity to blossom.

The right supplies.
At a music need musical instruments, tuners, music, chairs, stools, etc...

So...what does that mean at a Children's art and science studio?

And, please offer your opinion here...
I am curious about your thoughts on kids getting messy?

In playing my Uke... it often gets "messy".  My fingers don't hit the right chords.  I strum in a confused, disorganized way, but my teacher tells me this is how I'm going to learn.  
Through this "mess" I am learning.
Most of you know...Wonder Studio is messy.  Clothes will get stains...germs will be shared...the floor will be slippery.
These are not just the by-products of walking through my studio but these are the by-products of a creative, inquiry based environment.
Giving children some FREEDOM to create, make a mess of things, practice ideas they have seen and learned IS critical to creativity.

Creativity is not copying someone else's's transforming an idea into your own.
It's unique and personal.
I volunteered at the Salvation Army Women's Shelter last month and I wondered what it would be like to do Art experiences with this group.
Here we had some artistic opportunities for families who were homeless and had very few clothing choices.
Families who DO NOT take ANYTHING for granted.
When food and shelter is your main experiences for children (and the adults) can be pure bliss.
There was one mom in particular who struck me as very inspiring.
I could see she felt it was important for her daughter to use the glue and the paint. She wanted her 2 year old to have this experience.  She calmly said, "Let's go change your clothes so you can paint."

They both came back dressed in different shirts and happily painted and glued away.
I really appreciated this mother's wisdom in understanding that children need to get messy, trying to stay clean will completely undermine the creative process. 

Paint and glue on the table, on the floor, or on our bodies can be cleaned up.  Your child might leave Wonder Studio with a stain on their shirt but more importantly they leave with an understanding that Learning is messy...
As my uke teacher said, learn what sounds good to you...
It's the same with art and the same with science...
if you don't take a chance with the'll never create something completely and utterly your own.