19 February 2013

Don't Stifle Your Child's Inner Artist

English: One APEX kid teaching another what he...
English: One APEX kid teaching another what he learned in one of our music classes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There are five major imaginative arts which are vital to the survival and entertainment of mankind. There are the two creative visual and literary, and the three performing to include music, theater and dance. Each one of them receives opposition from dads every day.


When I was four my mother and her sister recognized my natural affinity for music. Since my aunt was a pianist it was decided that I would take piano lessons. My father went along with it, but not without first speaking his opinion. To him piano lessons were for girls. I don't think he took it into consideration that the majority of successful pianist were male. His words and opinion affected me and I developed a distaste for the piano and the lessons that my mother forced me to take. Despite my resistance, I practiced every day for at least thirty minutes and even though I was not focused on getting better, I improved at an alarming rate. It wasn't until I was a teenager that I realized that girls quickly became girlfriends when you are a musician. My father noticed my success and became one of my biggest fans. From then I enjoyed playing semi-professionally all over the east coast up until the time that I enlisted. My father noticed my success and became one of my biggest fans.

My story is not an odd one, in fact a lot of musicians, writers, dancers, artist and actors share similar memories of dad not being supportive. Fathers have an important place in a child' heart. This means that any opinion that we express has the potential to shape our children's lives. It is imperative that we support them in whatever they enjoy despite the stigma that we may associate with it. This is done by first recognizing the natural gifts or desires that our children have. Next we have to help them to develop their talent by getting them into programs that immerse them in that art form. We cannot be afraid to step outside of our comfort zone and spend the evening at the ballet or the local rendition of "West Side Story". If you can afford private lessons, by all means get your child started. You may not be raising the next prodigy, but you will definitely see a more well rounded individual emerge with a lifetime of memories. Support your children and don't be afraid to push them towards the goal of being artist.
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