As a Teaching Artist, I find the act of inquiry so exciting and important. Asking self-reflective questions as an artist, and analyzing the works of other artists is the most exciting activities I've encountered as a Teaching Artist. At the hear of it all is my belief that students should acquire a sense of "self" through the arts; this supports self esteem and nurture to the individual.
"I teach using humor, which creates joy, which lends itself to learning."
- Thea Howell
The power of play is crucial for students of any age. As part of investigating the mood of a work of art through its' subjects, concepts, and materials, play is a vehicle that brings us toward this understanding. We are drawn to play and to interact with our environment. Role-playing, games, and the act of imagining create wonderful moments for conversation and help to make an activity memorable and purposeful.
Sharing brings together students. Starting with the most basic questions brings obvious answers and moves students toward deeper observation and a greater sense of understanding. Using mood to enter into conversation is an important starting point, and a great way to help a student investigate both the work of art they are viewing as much as it helps them in their own art-making.