I received an email with this question and I thought I’d address it here in a blog post.
[Just so you know, this mom's child is a high school student.]
To start art and music in high school years would be hard if that interest is not there. Young ones are more malleable. That’s why laying the foundation of a love of fine arts is so important. But I don’t think it’s too late.
I’d hate to force it, but maybe some intentional exposure would pique some interest. For example, have Bach or Mozart playing each day in the background, or lay art prints around on the coffee table. Try to entice him to bite the bait. When he does, you’ll be ready with some spontaneous art or music lessons. (Here are some discussion questions for art & for music you may want to have handy.)
But then again, a narration of a painting is really quick. It takes just minutes. Capitalize on the student’s interests to draw him in. This particular child loves animals, so I suggested that the mom choose an artist who painted a lot of animals. I think that requiring two minutes of focused study on a painting and then two more minutes of verbal narration would not be torture for any child as long as the painting was interesting to him. Look at this list of subject matter, and find an area that would be engaging — animals, children, flowers, history, etc.
- Take a field trip to a museum or go to a concert.
- Use an art calendar as a way to sneak in more art.
What do YOU suggest for introducing a reluctant student to art and music?