Shining Eyes

Guys, I’m super excited to introduce you to my friend and fellow CC mom, Christy Lindsay.  Christy has five lovely littles and one adoring husband.  The class she taught at our local practicum was inspiring and encouraging.  It left me wanting to think and talk about the arts even more.  More importantly, it left me in awe of our Creator, the author of beauty and value.  So, please read along and enjoy what Christy shares in this post, as the beginning of a 3 part series of posts on teaching the arts in the home. 

At our local practicum a couple of weeks ago I taught an afternoon class on the arts — on how and why I teach them in our home.    I am not a professional public speaker, but it is a passion of mine, and I do very much enjoy teaching the orchestra segment at our CC group the last 6 weeks of the year.  It just warms my heart watching the kids sit with rapt attention as they listen to Bach’s Toccata and Fugue, Debussy’s La Mer, or watch Lang Lang play Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No 1.

I do not have a college degree in music or art, but I have learned the importance of making the arts a priority in our home school and not relegated to the “if we have time” section of our lesson plan.  I have seen their value and place and I have learned how simple it can be to add poetry, music and art appreciation to our day.  To truly have a liberal arts education, as we classical educators are seeking to give our children, we should not elevate one area of study over another, but learn to integrate them and show how they all point us to God.

To start my talk the first day I showed the inspiring TED talk by Benjamin Zander entitled, “The Transformative Power of Classical Music.”  I got so much positive feedback about this video and it led to some great discussion, so I wanted to share it with you as well.

It is a 20 minute video and I know your time is valuable, but I promise you that this talk is well worth your time!  It will inspire you and we all need inspiration this time of the year as we begin planning for next year.

The following quote is referring to poetry, but it is true of the visual arts and classical music as well.  I love how the author mentioned the “eye sparkle”, similar to the “shining eyes” that Benjamin Zander spoke about.

“The power of poetry is noble.  It fills the heart with tender feelings; it writes high thoughts in our memory; it makes the eye sparkle with desire to do things that are fair and just.  The poet is a friend who teaches us concerning all beautiful things – sunsets, sea, blue sky, and the dreams in the minds of heroes.”

                                          ~F.J. Gould in The Children’s Plutarch

In part 2 I want to talk about why I decided to make arts higher on the priority list than they had previously been, and in part 3 I will share with you how I simply go about doing that in our home.

I hope you will all feel inspired and encouraged!


  1. says

    Christy – Having missed your talks at the Practicum, I’m really looking forward to reading what you have to say. I’ll have to wait to watch the video when I’m taking a longer break from cleaning. Beth – this is great having guest posts from Christy. 🙂

    • says

      Right? I’m so excited, because she inspires and challenges me all the time. : ) Becki, the video is definitely worth your time!

  2. says

    Seth and I just finally got a chance to sit down together and watch this video – I love that moment in teaching anything when whoever is learning has “shining eyes.” The fact that this was a TED video was notably to Seth. I, on the other hand, had no idea what TED was. I should watch this with my kids although my most tender-hearted child may have difficulty getting through the piece when you are supposed to think of someone who has died (even though no one particularly close has died).

    • says

      christy is the one who first told me about TED videos : ) this is an especially good one! glad you & seth were able to watch it.

  3. says

    Love this–so inspiring, and the video was great. We are in Story of the World Middle Ages this year, and I’ve purchased 3 Artist packs from Simply Charlotte Mason to use for picture studies and have found some Middle Ages and Renaissance period music to share with my kids this coming year…discovered Francesco Landini, and oh my, it is so lovely…I want my children to each appreciate the arts, as I believe they point to God in the same way nature does…thanks for a great guest post.


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