#68. Go to an arts or music camp for a week; fine-tune some skills and make some new friends

IDEA #68. Go to an arts or music camp for a week; fine-tune some skills and make some new friends

This is one of the suggestions that sounds as though it might cost some real money, but many communities and non-profit organizations sponsor arts programs for young people at little or no cost, and even the more expensive may offer some form of financial aid.

Here is an opportunity for the young person to immerse him or herself in the creative process for a period of time, and to do so in the uninhibited presence of others. Local museums, art schools, and even colleges often run these programs, either as summer programs as implied in the suggestion or as Saturday morning classes; many programs will accept older children or teenagers into adult sessions. It makes little difference who runs the program or what the focus is, as long as the student is interested and excited about being a part of it.

“Music camp” often presupposes some knowledge of an instrument, but this is not always the case. In any event, most human beings are possessed of at least one natural instrument, the voice, and skilled teachers can turn even the froggiest of children into passable singers in a surprisingly short period of time; the will to sing can conquer all but total tone-deafness. The drum can also be picked up by aspiring musicians on the spot, although not every family will welcome their young drummer home again.

Programs in the visual arts usually focus on a particular medium, with courses leveled based on experience. Of these, courses involving technology—photography, film-making—may have associated expense, and a developed interest in ceramics may involve access to a potter’s wheel and a kiln. But cross such bridges as you come to them.

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