Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Magic of the Arts

This week has been a very interesting one though slightly crazy. I'm already starting to use behavior plans and ABC charts that I've learned to use as a teacher.
One idea that has been growing in my head this week, is the realization of how much the use of the arts such as painting, dancing, and music can be a way to connect with  others when normal communication is difficult.
Almost everyday there is a class in the afternoon here that uses the arts.
On Tuesdays we have a painting class. We just finished a project creating a dragon from torn paper to celebrate St. Michealmas. Everyone could participate whether it was painting, tearing the paper or gluing fingers together. :) 

I went to my first African drumming session with Lisa. The class is fantastic, each of the participants get a chance to do what they do best. Some dance in the middle while everyone gives them a beat on the drums. Others conduct and some sing tunes. Even Lisa got the chance to lead everyone doing movements and sounds. There is so much you can do when you take the time to see and then use each person's talent. At the moment the class is prepping for a concert coming up in a few weeks, I'll keep you updated!

Today's theme was dance! This afternoon there was a session for some of the younger people. The teacher does great with adapting to what everyone can do. Lisa can do some of the dance moves when I use the hand over hand method. We've got comfortable enough with each other, that she leans on me sometimes during breaks. When you work closely with another person doing movements, you make connections and understandings that don't require speech.

 There was a moment at the end of the class when everyone was doing the same motion, there was a calm feeling like we were all on the same brain wave and totally just understood each other.

Art is an amazing tool!

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