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Fine Arts Class

Music, Art & Literature for everyone.

Text reads Customized online fine arts class with photos of students with Down syndrome playing instruments, singing, reading and writing stories against a background of a high class room with a grand piano and a small table with a book and colored pencils and microphone representing the elements of the class.

What do we do?

This Fine Arts Class is a completely unique experience for each person. Weekly 1:1 sessions incorporate the arts in whatever way best serves the student. This class is about enriching their world with exposure to new things, alongside the comfort of their passions. 



     We read together, not only the DeCamville Arts Stories and poetry, but also books that reflect their passions. We also analyze song lyrics, read articles and blog posts, and explore new poetry and classic fairy tales. After our creative writing workshops, the students get to read each other's stories. (They are amazing!) Since each person has individual tastes, we may enjoy Disney stories or Harry Potter, articles about ghost tours or enjoy a blog post about planning a party. Symbolism, imagery, context, predicting skills, memory, focus, navigating books, using the table of contents, finding page numbers, reflecting on the moral of the story, appreciating the illustrations, finding cues in the artwork for what may happen next, finding words for our opinions, recall of details, summarizing plots, aligning and connecting through shared enjoyment of reading together... I could go on and on about the benefits of the fun we have with literature.



     Not only are we finding incredible joy and learning through karaoke, but students with instruments are also exploring the world of music with hands-on instrument experiences. For the first 25 years of DeCamville Arts, the focus was mainly on piano lessons. Now that the classes have expanded, traditional piano lessons are no longer offered, but rather a comprehensive music/art/literature experience has been curated. If a student has an instrument, we can explore it and learn some basic things about it, or reinforce what they've already been taught. Likewise, if it's merely a toy-status instrument, we can engage in expression, movement and mock-playing which does wonders for mental health, self-esteem and fine motor skills. 



     Coloring, drawing, looking at and discussing art has benefits too long to list here. Students may color while we explore classical music, we may sing together while each drawing, we may color in a custom coloring paper with characters from the book we are reading to reinforce concepts, or we may use paper and tape and scissors to make Valentines or a card for a parent. Fine motor skills paired with the process of creating something not only stimulates the brain and boosts coordination, but the  self-expression is what makes us light up. Have I mentioned DeCamville Arts' mission statement?

"DeCamville Arts mission is to help others express themselves, learn new things, and feel love."

Art does that. Discussing literature does that. Music does that. Creative writing does that.

*Creative Writing

     Poetry? Short story? Screenplay? Long story? Card for grandma? What shall we write about next? Through my carefully crafted system of questions, and my guidance through story-telling, my students have the tools they need to bring their imagination to life in their own story. They can put pencil to paper if they like, or I'll do that. But the story is theirs. We may take one session to write a poem about their favorite activity or we may take several weeks to create something much larger. Regardless, we are writers. And it's magical.


Whatever direction we naturally go, as long as we are enjoying it and learning, there are no rules and there is no judgement. Only self-expression, autonomy, creativity, and joy!

A young man with Down syndrome is reading with a huge grin on his face
A teen girl with Down syndrome laughs while holding a clarninet
A teen girl with Down syndrome and a sweet smile holds up a piece of art she made
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