How soon can you begin exposing children to fine arts? I feel it is never too early to let them experience and often re-experience the beautiful in life created by others. As we visited the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston again this weekend, I was reminded how powerful art can be in helping us live beyond our daily routines and struggles. Art is a special nourishment for the mind and the soul. I believe it is required for normal growth, development and maintenance of the human mind. Children today are bombarded with popular culture through the media and their peers yet there is little to counter-balance the effects of this attack. As parents, we must provide their food, shelter, and their education among others. We must also encourage the development of their fine senses through arts.
Classical music, paintings, architecture, sculpture, poetry and many other forms of art are simply inspirational to children (and adults). Even though sometimes we may feel that they would not understand art, that could not be further from reality. Art is understood differently by different people. Children internalize art in their own way based on their experiences. This is why it is important to not only expose them to art, but to constantly re-expose them because each time they perceive something new in the same piece of art.
We took our son on a trip to Italy where we visited Florence and Rome. He was 3-4 years old at the time. He experienced probably far more than we did during that trip. He understood the ancient and the new in his own way but even today he often understands new concepts through a reference to something he saw during that trip. It’s about expanding their understanding of the world and art provides a beautiful way to do that. So, it’s never too early or too late to get introduced and re-introduced to the beautiful works left behind by the masters who often saw life in its true colors.