Encouraging children in the arts.

As a author and mother of halflings aged 12, 10
and nearly 6, I wanted to share with you my experiences
of encouraging my children to try something a little

The education system these days places a lot of emphasis
on academic achievement, and sometimes it doesn’t appear
to rate artistic achievements as highly.

It was more luck than a concerted strategy which caused us
to move house to one block away from a school with one of
the best-performing artistic programs in the city. Our school
has a dedicated music teacher, strings teacher and concert
band teacher. This year our school has won district awards
for their strings and concert band, participated in Creative
Generation (our state-run variety concert), won the class
entry in the regional arts competition, and put on a splendid play.

I think that finding your child’s talent is a matter of trial and error.
Number one son showed promise on the violin, but didn’t have
the keenness to continue after 2 years. We also tried piano and
glockenspiel before realising that instruments just weren’t their

We tried jazz dancing and a year of hip-hop, but alas, they don’t
look like they’ll be auditioning for So You Think You Can Dance anytime soon.

At this stage we were thinking: ‘Hmm, surely there must be a
spark of art in those growing bodies somewhere.’ Maybe little
Miss almost-6 will have the musical or dancing bug.

Thankfully this year we hit the jackpot!

Number one son was dragged along to the school musical auditions
and scored a minor, though entertaining part as the comic relief in
Danger Kids. He was part of an ensemble who chanted humorous
songs while doing a silly dance. It only seemed a minor role, but has
had a great impact on his social life at school and really boosted his
self esteem.

We also trialed the boys in art lessons and found that they both have
a great eye for it and enjoy learning the new techniques. They entered
their first art competition this year and were so excited to see their own
works on display in the gallery.

Number one son started writing when he was nine and has published
two short stories through writing competitions. In fact, he was one
reason that I took up writing myself, when I saw how happy it made him,
I had to give it a try. That was 2 novels ago, and now, working on my third,
I can’t think of any job I’d rather do.

Allowing children to explore their creative side has many well-documented
benefits, such as improving their academic grades and increasing their
happiness and socialization. Go on and give it a try today.

by Kasper Beaumont
author of the Hunters of Reloria series

If you’re looking for inspiration, try Kasper’s
fantasy art competition. You can win up to $150 and have your
artwork on a book cover. There are categories for adults and children.
Check the website for details:
Kasper writes sword and sorcery fantasy novels in the
Hunters of Reloria series, which are suitable for proficient
readers, aged around 10 and upwards and has had lots
of positive responses from children and adults alike.
Try them if you like The Lord of the Rings or
David Eddings novels.

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