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Visual/Performing Arts for the non-artsy

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...has two courses that work well for appreciation/history rather than performance courses in musical theatre and opera. My children enjoyed these.

Great American Music: Broadway Musicals


How to Listen to and Understand Opera

Attending some live performances and adding written assignments makes these courses worth ½ credit each.


We also have enjoyed the History of European Art course from Teaching Company. Add visits to museums to see the works in person, written work, and you would have a good art history/appreciation course.


I have a student who loves architecture, and though he is a little younger, we are working through The Annotated Arch by Carol Strickland (ISBN 0740710249). With the addition of some written assignments and observations of local architecture, that book would also make a fine art course for a non-artsy student.



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My oldest is artsy. She took Drawing I and Drawing II at the cc for her fine arts credit.


My middle dd is not at all artsy. She decided to try having me teach her piano over the summer. If she decides to keep going, she can choose between me as a teacher or having an actual piano teacher. If she wants to do something else, I figured that one semester of music appreciation and one semester of art appreciation would work. I don't know whether I'd do them with TC courses or with OM. I can probably get OM cheaper.


My youngest is taking guitar right now. She can do guitar classes at the cc when she finishes 10th grade (a long time from now). I don't know what she'll choose to do.

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I don't know if you would call mine artsy or not, but I know mine would absolutely hate studying any sort of art or music history or appreciation. They would think it was all stupid non-sense. We stuck to actually drawing and making music. If the child isn't "artsy", I would just have them do a drawing program. Drawing is a tool used in art but isn't necessarily artsy, just like handwriting and grammar are used in writing a book but also for lots of other things. It is handy to be able to draw. If it were I, I would get Draw Squad or one of the other "how to draw" books and have them work through it. I'd take them to the library and let them choose one.


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Social dance classes - ballroom, country line dancing, or even square dancing


Sketching or basic drawing with a bit of color theory


Add a small amount of art and/or music history to compliment whatever history you are doing.


Try one of the arts that is craftier - pottery, stained glass, textiles (weaving, dying, embroidery, quilting), woodworking.

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Thanks everyone. I had thought about art history/appreciation so thanks for the specific recommendations through the Teaching Company.


I also had not thought about the more craft oriented arts. DD has done a bit of cross-stitch, quilting, etc. Plus, she is somewhat interested in photography.



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