My 10-year-old daughter surprised me when she recognized a Picasso. “This was his blue period,” she said. “How did you know that,” I asked. Her reply was, “I learned about Picasso at Meet the Masters.” I’m thrilled our school supports this program! – Janet W., Parent in Mission Viejo, CA
I don’t know how many years ago I first read the above testimonial on the Meet the Masters website. Wow. If that’s true, MTM is a successful art education program. But how could a 10 year-old learn that much about Picasso, plus remember it and apply it later? I had my doubts.
Now I know it’s true.
After many positive experiences with Meet the Masters at my children’s school, I thought, what makes this program so successful? What makes children remember details like the 10 year-old above?
I considered it from everyone’s perspective.
Kids know MTM is…
- Memorable – the multi-media assembly uses music and artist voices while the instructor tells interesting stories about the artist’s fascinating life. That’s a winning combination that helps make the lessons memorable.
- Interactive – “Can you make your expression match the faces you see in the photos?” Students love being involved and engaged rather than simply lectured to.
- Creative – expressing their inner artist gives students an opportunity to release their creative side which is often buried during the school-day.
- Confidence-building – maybe students don’t KNOW that using their creativity helps them feel more confident in other subjects, but they will certainly FEEL it.
Parents know MTM is…
- Proven – art education can improve students scores in core subjects up to 20%.
- Standards-based – who wants to waste precious instructional minutes on artsy projects? The students love the MTM art projects and rarely realize how much they are learning in the process.
- Age-appropriate – we’ve all heard crazy stories about wild artists. No worries – while MTM tells great stories about the artists’ lives, all are G-rated.
- Variety – students may act out a lesson, play a special game, see a parody of Miss Piggy, wear a silly prop – every artist lesson is different.
- Frameable – beautiful masterpieces that can be proudly displayed on your walls or refrigerator!
Volunteers know MTM is…
- Easy – It’s simple – scripts! All of the lessons have easy-to-follow scripts and the art project has the timing listed which keeps you on track to complete the project in one hour.
- Easy – again! You don’t need a teaching or art background to teach MTM. Anyone can do it.
- Fun – since it’s easy, and there isn’t lots of research or preparation, it’s FUN to teach!
Principals know MTM is …
- Art Education – 35 Master Artists are selected for their significance in art history, representation of major periods in art and their interest for children.
- Transferrable – art education teaches so many skills that transfer to other subjects: motor skills, language development, visual-spatial skills, cultural awareness, decision-making, and more…it’s a long list.
- Flexible – our school has changed over the years. Class sizes, schedules, combo-classes, etc. MTM’s flexibility has always been able to bend to fit our ever-changing needs.
- Administrators know MTM is…
- Reusable – OK…this makes it cost-effective. People paying the bills like this one. MTM can be used over and over for many years.
But most importantly…
Volunteers – that is what really makes MTM successful at any school! MTM gives volunteers the tools to make THEM successful. The Implementation Guide provides step-by-step instructions on everything: timelines, scheduling, ordering paper, supply check-off lists, reminder notes for teachers, even newsletter blurbs and nametags. Training DVDs show how to teach the art project and are a great visual aid for visual-learners.
Many thanks to Christine, the MTM Chair at my children’s school, and to Frances-kay for introducing us all to MTM.
And for making me a believer.
Written by a former MTM parent and volunteer.