Commentary by Laurie Greeninger
This chapter and the following commentary bring to mind two stories. One was an art teacher I had telling me that I was unskilled as an artist and should give up trying, and one of my dads cousin who was struggling in math until she put her math book on the piano and discovered that trigonometry was all music.
My artistic abilities were questioned to the point where I did not pursue a career in the arts as I felt I was not capable. I now have learned that I am a skilled artist, and I use my skills creating for and with my young charges. Better late than never. I guess I was lucky that I did in fact have an art class in school. I sent my daughter to an art & music magnet school. She did not read until the third grade, but she could paint, cut and sculpt at age three. I think that school was the key to her current educational success. She had access to music, fine art, dance and drama every day. Her fourth grade class worked with the Minnesota Opera Guild to write, compose, design, and perform an opera. The school does it every year. What a gift. It is sad to think these things are underfunded and not accessible to all kids.
The other story was from a very long time ago (more than 50 years). It was the piano music she loved and played which helped her to understand math skills. Anyone who feels like they are not connected is fooling themselves. Just like in the chapters that discussed gross motor, physical skills being required before fine motor refinement can occur. It's all connected. We have one brain.
Like the commentary by "Mike" when his daughter said art and science are the same thing, she's so right!
I am hopeful with quality teachers, educators and administrators who read books like this and understand the need for arts, and physical education, there will be a shift back to basics of play and creativity as a basis for learning, instead of rote learning, computers and sitting still taking tests.