Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Charleston Currents Feature- May 2014



PLUFF MUD KIDS
Inspiring art and music in Lowcountry kids
By LEIGH SABINE, contributing editor
Special to Charleston Currents

MAY 26, 2014 -- The buzz of art and music that flows from downtown Charleston streets filled with Spoleto and Piccolo Spoleto events always reminds me of performances that my children attended there years ago that instilled a yearning to play an instrument themselves.
I would never have thought to begin piano lessons while my boys were still in kindergarten had it not been for a friend who's child played the violin at the Charleston Academy of Music. We launched into lessons never realizing that four years later our children would be playing together in a Piccolo Spoleto event as performers in their own right.
Whether your child chooses art or music or a combination of both, getting started at a young age is all about finding the right fit with a teacher and program. We have one twin taking lessons in classical piano at the Charleston Academy of Music and the other twin studies jazz piano with a teacher who comes to our home. Pluffmudkids.com endeavors to research and test area programs in art and music that we then recommend to our readers.
Listed below are a few of the options we have tried and have years of experience with. These programs have earned our wholehearted endorsement. As you enjoy everything Spoleto has to offer this year, look to these options as a starting point for music and art for your own family:
  • The Charleston Academy of Music. At 189 Rutledge Avenue in downtown Charleston, this centrally-located school of music offers piano, voice, cello, classical guitar, violin, flute, clarinet, viola and music theory as well as a Kidzymphony Orchestra and summer camps. Lessons are available for children and adults and there is an honors program that offers scholarships for talented and hard working students. The academy also offers performance classes, master classes with guest artists and recitals throughout the year, as well as participation in the Charleston Music Association Piano Achievement Day to encourage students to learn the art of sharing their music. More info.
  • Charleston Piano Lessons. Jazz pianist Dan McCurry has been teaching piano for more than seven years and brings patience and a knowledge of performing to his student lessons. Dan also offers opportunities for students to work toward recitals during the year and perform at the Charleston Music Association Piano Achievement Day held annually. More information on setting up in-home lessons.
  • The Gibbes For Kids. For many years, the Gibbes Museum of Art in downtown Charleston has extended its fine art programming to include young children and budding artists through a series of art classes and unique summer camps. What better way to become familiar and at home in the museum while encouraging an appreciation for art in your child. These programs offer a chance for children to dabble in many types of art -- from painting and drawing to photography and art history. For a detailed account of this year's summer camps, click here for a story and information on these great programs.
  • Sheryl Stalnaker Studio Art. Lowcountry artist Sheryl Stalnaker, whose work is featured in 2014 Piccolo Spoleto at Marion Square, offers small group classes in the comfort of her studio in Mount Pleasant for adults and children. Stalnaker's summer camps are a great way to get your child started on a path of art and offer instruction in many types of art mediums. Children have an opportunity to study art in nature outdoors as well as indoor studio time. For a detailed description of the classes available to students, click herefor more information and an interview with artist Sheryl Stalnaker.
These resources are but a few of the fine opportunities for children in the community to embark on a journey of discovery through art and music. In the process, they just might stick with something that enhances their education and provides a skill that lasts a lifetime.

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