Life grows or shrinks

Hello Friends,

Our (6-9) students recently demonstrated their talents in strings, dance and music.  It was a joy to watch how they showed up in ways that fully expressed their individuality and commitment to being a member of a community.


It reminded me of conversations I’d had with parents who were touring our school, seeing a Montessori environment for the first time.  Some of them had heard about a common misconception that Montessori environments do not emphasize the arts. This false impression stems from the fact that Montessori schools approach art in the same way they approach the their other curriculum.

The Montessori method is more about the process of discovery than the polished finished product.  The process can be awkward and a little clumsy but is full of risk and serendipity!  Montessori art speaks to art’s higher purpose: to support the child’s creative development.  It is not done for the “pretty thing” a child can take home.  The emphasis is on learning new techniques, working with care, and developing a relationship between a thought/idea/emotion and the expression of that thought/idea/emotion.


There were students in our (6-9) community who have never performed in front of an audience before.  Never sang out-loud for a crowd of people.  Never expressed themselves through movement.  There were students who were unsure, until literally the last minute, if they had the courage to try something they have never done before. Then, there they were, singing, dancing and learning through art that life grows or shrinks depending on how brave you are.


Jeff Groh

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