Ariel's little kingdom {Review of heART Studio Part I}

Posted by ~Summer~ on February 15, 2016

So, we've been waiting for this day for months. Yes, I've been wanting to let my little girl embark on this but we had to wait till she turned three years old. Well, and you know, two days before her 3rd birthday, I gave birth and so things had to be on hold for another month. Anyway, the day has come! It's the day that dear Ariel goes for her first art class at heART Studio!

Now, I wasn't and am still not entirely sure if she has the same interest in art as her elder sister. Since young, she has been more of an active kid who loves to dance, sing and run around rather than sit down and draw or paint. The thing is, if you don't try, you won't know, right? Since she always has to follow us when I bring Angel for her weekly class, it was a natural decision to let her have the chance to try it out too.

At age three, she is in the Little Dali class which is conducted by Teacher Syafiq and his assistant Teacher Vinky. I still remember how much Angel loved Teacher Syafiq in her first year of lessons at heART and the way he connects with kids and the amount of patience he demonstrates never fail to amaze me. (You can read our reviews of Angel's first term of class here - Part I/II/III. Gosh, has it been three years already?)

Her first two lessons were on drawing - which is a new lesson content compared to previous years. In these two weeks, kids do not make use of oil pastels or paint at all but instead, they are taught to focus on their drawing techniques. Interesting, right? For the younger kids like Ariel, drawing is a great way to help refine her fine motor skills too. Different themes are introduced for the drawing projects and for Ariel, her class had the theme "My Little Kingdom".

In her first lesson, a good part of the first half of the lesson was dedicated to introducing and explaining the theme to the children. I like the fact that apart from art techniques, the kids also gain some general knowledge and by getting them to be more acquainted with the subject, they subsequently show more interest and enthusiasm in it too.

After the introduction, each child got to choose his/her desired character from a list that comprised of king, queen, wizard, fairy, knight, castle, princess and prince. Based on the character that the child had chosen, the teacher would display some images on the computer and then the child would pick the one to be drawn. By empowering the little ones and giving them the freedom to choose, I think it greatly helps to make the kids more interested and attentive. For her first character, my girl chose to draw a fairy.

For the Little Dali class, as the ages of the children may vary from three to five years old, they would be split into two groups - Teacher Syafiq would be in charge of the younger age group while Teacher Vinky took on the older age group. This was something I really appreciated as since Ariel was new to art and had just turned three, she was able to concentrate much better when in a small group. The kids took turns to listen to Teacher Syafiq who gave instructions and slowly guided them through their drawing,

For a three year old, I must say Ariel is not bad with holding her pencil! Yes, that's the benefit of having an elder sibling as these two like to colour and doodle together at home. However, she has a tendency to press down quite forcefully so Teacher Syafiq would teach her to be more gentle in making the lines. Stroke by stroke, he would guide her in drawing the fairy, starting from the face to hair to body and then limbs followed by accessories.

She did a pretty good job in drawing the straight lines and even the zigzag ones, but when it got a little complicated for instance the fingers and the fairy wings, she would require more help. What I like about heART Studio, as I said before, is that they minimise any holding of hands but let the child do it himself/herself as best as possible. So, even when she needed guidance, Teacher Syafiq would draw it on his own paper again or make dots for her to follow. If she still couldn't do it, it was then that he would gently hold her hand but instead of moving her hand, he would just help to steady and guide it but ask her to move it and draw the lines herself. There is a big difference, you know.

There, check out her first ever proper drawing! Of course, you don't need me to tell you which is hers and which is Teacher Syafiq's.You can say that I'm biased but I thought she really did a good job considering this was her first real attempt! As you can see, there is minimal erasing and the teachers usually let it be when the lines are crooked, become asymmetrical or go slightly out of shape. In fact, they are always very encouraging and that is why the little ones can come up with their very own masterpieces.

In the second week, Ariel had to choose her second character and to my surprise, she chose an archer! I really thought she would only go for princesses and fairies, so it was nice to see her try out something totally different.

Three years ago, I remember how I had to sling the then baby Ariel and bring her into class with me when the big girl first started. Now, I'm doing the same and have my baby boy strapped onto me while I accompany Ariel. How surreal it feels! Anyway, she was a little fearful when we first started and we were slightly dismayed to know that Teacher Syafiq was sick when she came for her second lesson. Teacher Elma took over and initially I was a little worried if Ariel would be shy or be scared to go into class. Luckily, she seemed to be settle in and much of the credit goes to the fact that all the teachers here are kind, friendly and passionate about what they do. Plus, most of them have watched Ariel grow up from when she was a newborn so that kind of helps too.

Similar to the first class, she was guided stroke by stroke in her drawing of the character. While she was focused and paid close attention during the first half of the lesson, she got a little restless and distracted afterwards. That was when she started humming, fidgeting and playing with her pencil. It's easy to tell that the teachers here are quite used to this and Teacher Elma demonstrated patience in catching her attention and getting her to refocus.

Once she was completed with the drawing of the characters, they were tasked to draw the background too and could choose between an indoor or outdoor castle backdrop. For Ariel, she wanted an indoor one and did a flag bunting, window and picture frame.

Ta-dah! So this was her final artwork for "My Little Kingdom". Not bad, right? If you notice, they even pay attention to the details, for instance the fairy's magic wand, the archer's arrows, the curtains by the window and the sun and waves in the picture.

I think we are off to a good start and it seems like she is enjoying the classes for now. I can see that she is looking forward to her class and can't wait to do something more colourful, so we'll share more when the time comes!

Disclosure: This is Part I of a series of reviews of heART Studio. Ariel attended a term of complimentary lessons for the purpose of this review. All opinions are our own.

1 comment:

  1. I would choose the light bike without hesitation. As a kid, I never had a bike with a chain guard, rode my bike almost every day, and never hurt myself


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