Friday, March 18, 2011

In Defense Of The Arts

I love this picture. It was taken while my son was goofing off before curtain a little over a year ago. I love how comfortable he is in his skin.

He was the only deaf kid in the play which had a lot of improv. He was a principal and the only middle school kid cast as such. This experience was natural for him, like a second skin. He was completely joyful. For him it is about the work or the moment. He becomes a character. Once he is finished he becomes a bit shy of the attention he receives, his hands go into his pockets, head slightly down and he issues a nod a thank you to praise.  He is modest about his work. This picture shows his passion for just being himself with freedom. He doesn't need the praise.

The reason I bring this up is every time my son learns from theater he gains more self confidence. He learns the trick of managing the nerves of public speaking or assertive self advocating. By studying character he learns how others think and uses that information to develop empathy and strategies to negotiate this world which could potentially judge him at every turn. He can memorize his lines after two readings of a script.... hmm ..... literacy....

I guess my point is every deaf kid (or hearing in my opinion) benefits from the arts on many levels. I notice in our area we focus on raising test scores and art is left behind sometimes in general education. Art is a valuable resource. I have never met a deaf kid who didn't benefit from it.

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