"The free play of art is the result of mastery. " --Ernst Fischer, The Necessity of Art

"Children are likely to live up to what you believe of them." --Ladybird Johnson

"...a well-trained ear, a well-trained intelligence, a well-trained heart, and a well-trained hand...." --Zoltan Kodaly


Daily Life, 39

Music class, First Grade. Making our Music Treasure Boxes--white cardboard pastry boxes, which the children color, then fill with their teeny Music composition books, their clay instruments, their mini-music albums, and other treasures.

James* sat quietly, completely absorbed, intent on drawing tiny, exquisitely fine lines of color. His treasure box lid slowly shifted from being plain white cardboard to small colorful canvas, glowing with life.

This, from a six year old boy who has difficulty controlling his gross motor movements. Who seems to fall into or flail against any object within 5 feet. Who smiles, even as he unknowingly knocks over the xylophone because he leaned against it while listening. Whose arms and legs always seem to have their own ideas.

The little boy whose lunch ends up all over him because he has trouble holding his fork...this young artist is the one who drew a small picture of such beautiful intensity that it leapt into focus amongst the group of 20 or so boxes, piled loosely near the drum kit so that we could move on to playing singing games.

Children's innate abilities and ways of seeing the world burst with richness. And this one piece of art has forever changed the way that I see--the way that I see James, the way that I see children, the way that I see HOW I see.

What an incredible gift from one generous-hearted six year old artist.

*James, of course, is not this young artist's real name.

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