Tag: arts education

Aria’s 2014 Art Roundup

Last year was indeed a milestone year for my daughter. I could never been any happier with her biggest achievement–being behaved inside a closed theater venue!

My husband and I try to make every experience as enjoyable and educational as possible. She definitely enjoys traveling, something she got from her parents, definitely, who used to be part of active touring choral groups. She calls every trip outside a “field trip,” and since that’s the peg of every trip outside, we make them homeschooling opportunities.

We make sure to choose activities that will introduce her to the seven arts. Luckily, we live in a place surrounded by theaters, museums, and other places of arts. Likewise, this blog has taken me and my daughter to different events we both have enjoyed and learned from. She loves listening and making music, so no wonder we take her to concerts of various musical forms.

Here’s a roundup of art-related activities we have done the past year.



We took her to her first orchestral concert– that of the Philippine Philharmonic Orchestra in an outdoor venue–Rizal Park Open Air Auditorium. That concert was a tie-up with the Far Easter University and I blogged about it here. We also chanced upon the Chang Kai Shek Youth Choir at the SM Aura for the Chinese New Year celebrations on the last day of this month.




Aria got a taste of some jazz music through the Euro-Pinoy Jazz concerts at the Maestranza Park in Intramuros. We also asked our cousin, Joy of iBake to make a cake decorating activity for Aria, who loves doing art works. We also passed by a Marian exhibit at the Mall of Asia organized by Radyo Veritas. They do this at least twice a year.

Aria was THAT small exactly last year? I cannot believe my eyes!
Aria was THAT small exactly last year? I cannot believe my eyes! With my cousin Joy.


Not much activity this month, but we caught the PPO again at the CCP for the Children’s Concert.



We spent Easter Sunday at Movie Stars Cafe (click here to know how to get a 10% discount when you visit!) and Beauty and the Beast was showing! Good thing because this prepared her for the musical which she was able to watch last January. This month was also a milestone for her–her first full orchestral concert inside the CCP Main Theater! She also watched Mommy conduct her Children’s Choir for the Madz et al concert.


One of our staunch supporters, Mons Bobby, who happily posed with us after the concert. Thank you, Mons, for supporting these kids as much as we do!


We supported Daddy and Leana, my niece, who performed in a concert of Ryan Cayabyab’s songs. She also watched Mommy and her choir again in San Sebastian Basilica for the Musica Sacra Festival.

She was on that phase of not wanting to have her photos taken, but she's past that now.
She was on that phase of not wanting to have her photos taken, but she’s past that now.



Aria was brought by Daddy for the culminating concert of the Madz’ 50th Anniversary. We caught the PPO as wellat the CCP and chanced upon a cool exhibit in the gallery outside the Little Theater.



Some friends from the classical music world, Ervin Lumauag, Krystl Buesa, and Alejandro Consolacion had a recital-concert at the Rizal Park. No rain stopped this concert of theirs. Then we also watched the concert of the famed Time Ensemble at the PICC Meeting Room. An intimate concert featuring varied repertoire. I was surprised Aria sat and listened well to each song, she was even dancing along the front act performers, the Voce Fich.



We went to two kids’ expositions, or expos– first was the Smartkids Asia expo where my blog won an award. Another is the Toy Expo of Toy Kingdom. Both events were held at the SMX Convention Center. Seeing new toys and stuff for kids is just a delight for the family.


Best Blog award went to Touringkitty!
Best Blog award went to Touringkitty!


I had the privilege of performing as woodsprite in the UP-produced Rusalka, an opera by Antonin Dvorak. According to my family, Aria was cheering from her seat every time I appear on stage. Thank God for daughters! Aria also attended the Manila International Book Fair, where we also sang for a book launch. Once again, there was a Marian exhibit called Mary and the Popes at SM Mall of Asia. We also visited Exploreum at MOA for the first time.

A blurry photo of the woodsprite, Aria, and Rusalka.
A blurry photo of the woodsprite, Aria, and Rusalka.



October was a busy month for Mommy, so Aria had the chance to tag along Mommy everywhere! First was in a choral conducting recital in a church in faraway Quezon City. She was well behaved throughout the recital! Proud of my little girl. Also, I took her to the culminating activity of the CCP Hands-on Choral Workshop, where members and alumni of the Philippine Madrigal Singers served as conductors. Through this blog, I also got to bring her to Kids Workshop in Greenhills, San Juan City, a great place for kids to play, learn, and have fun. They intersperse storytelling and art activities while kids play in their big play area.



November was jampacked with activities for this blog. We watched the fashion show and launch of P.S. from Aeropostale. We also watched the Dancing Lights at Ayala Triangle and the concert of the PPO and the Ateneo Chamber Singers at Salcedo Park, both in Makati.

Trying out the catwalk herself, before the show. Her DJ cousins at the back.



This month was a month of firsts for my little one. It was her first time to perform in public officially. First in the Christmas Party in Mathemagis, a Singapore Maths program she is enrolled in. Apparently, she volunteered herself to sing for the party. Then she also sang and danced as Youth animator at our church on Christmas Day. Went back to Movie Stars Cafe for their Frozen show. We were also fortunate to watch Cinderella by Ballet Philippines and the Madz’ Christmas concert.


With my Frozen fanatic.
With my Frozen fanatic.

February is National Arts Month. It is also the Month of Hearts. It is never too early or too late to introduce arts to everyone. As the Cultural Center of the Philippines puts it, “O ‘di ba, mas maganda kung may arts sa buhay mo?” (Isn’t is more beautiful if you have arts in your life?).

Art in the Heart Touringkitty
Art is in our hearts! Art by Touringkitty, made using Canva (www.canva.com).


Happy heARTS Month!


~ Touringkitty



The School of Academics and Arts: Learning through the arts

TSAA integrates their lessons into arts activities.
TSAA is said to be the first school in the country to offer an Arts-Integrated Curriculum.

Last week, my daughter and I paid a visit to the The School of Academics and Arts. I was not able to make it to their bloggers’ event because I was out of town. I thank Ms. Dimples for arranging our visit.

We met Ms. Cherry Napala, the School Principal. I realized I was not able to take many photos, only because Ms. Cherry and I had so much to share about education and the arts! We talked while my daughter was outside with Cherry’s daughter, who was nice enough to play with the little one.

Aria spent much of her time in this playhouse outside.
Aria spent much of her time in this playhouse.

Here are a few pictures that I took:

As soon as we entered a room, she tinkered on the toys she saw. This was their Kinder Room.
As soon as we entered a room, Aria would examine the toys she saw. This is the Kinder Room.
One of their teachers decorating the bulletin board.
One of the teachers decorates the bulletin board. The tree was handpainted by one of them, too.


Notice the shape of their tables?

The school, Ms. Cherry explains, believes that the arts is the best tool for learning. Unlike other schools which offer arts and music programs only after school hours or during summer, TSAA uses the Arts-Integrated Curriculum, a proven method backed by research used in other countries. The arts is used as a vehicle for learning, so that every day, there are activities in music, arts, dance, and others integrated with their lessons.

The school is the brainchild of Audie Gemora, a known theater and musical actor, director, and producer, who envisioned the school as a home for academically and artistically inclined students. Other partners of the school include UP’s Dr. Evalyn Hizon, and music teacher Emmy Cayabyab (wife of Ryan Cayabyab).

Here are some salient points that Cherry shared with me:

1. We have both left and right brains, so why not use both in learning? It’s not only the left brain we should nurture through memorization and drills, but the right brain as well by enhancing creativity and imagination. Contrary to the belief that artists are not smart, Ms. Cherry and I both agreed that this is not true. Artists can excel in academics as well.

2. Arts education should start at a young age. Kids need a good, solid, and proper arts education foundation. It’s much harder to correct bad practices later on.

3. Arts education should not only be done during lazy summers, but the whole year round. In TSAA, the kids will do lots of arts activities as they learn. Just like any other habit, arts should be done regularly. In the case of TSAA, the children experience arts every day.

4. Arts education entails a certain kind of discipline, which can be used as one learns academic subjects. One needs hours rehearsing a certain piano piece or song, and a lot of focus and concentration. I started playing piano at age four, and the discipline of practicing piano has given me the same concentration I needed to study other academic subjects.

5. As parents, we need to invest in arts education. TSAA may be a little expensive than others, but they make learning more fun with arts activities as they learn other academic subjects. Is it not that we learned our ABCs using songs? In the same way, learning about other subjects can be made more fun and in a more creative way.

The students will be happy to know that TSAA does not give assignments. They believe in work-life balance, which is essential for the holistic growth of a child or an individual. School work remains at school so that the students can have more time to rest and bond with their family. I wish it was like that in schools and the workplace!

Their class size is very small, at about 10 students per class, which ensures individualized learning.

As for exams and grades, Cherry said that they have a different system of grading through practical assessment. They follow the K-12 Curriculum and abide by the grading system of the DepEd, only their manner of grading is suited according to each student.

TSAA teachers are trained to integrate arts into their lessons. I have observed schools in other countries and they have a strong foundation in music and arts education. TSAA tries to follow that model.

If you want your kids to be future artists, they offer after-school activities, too. Cherry showed me their music studio rooms:

Rooms are sound-proofed.
Rooms are sound-proofed.


I believe the arts is such a powerful tool for helping students to learn. With the ever dynamic world we have, families are looking for learning methods other than the traditional one for their children. TSAA is one option.

TSAA opened its doors in its new location at Davila Street, Makati City (near Shopwise Pasong Tamo). They offer programs for children as young as 1.8 years old. Visit their website, Facebook Page, email tsaa.makati(at)gmail(dot)com or call 0925.550.2766 to schedule a visit.


~ Touringkitty