Child Doing Art Activity

The Bob Schulman Bequest

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We are excited to announce that VICCC added an Arts Program to the existing curriculum as of August 2022.

Last spring Debby Hix, long-time friend and supporter of VICCC, announced to the board that her lately deceased husband, Bob Schulman, had left a generous bequest to the center. Bob and Debby’s hope is that these funds would be used to enrich the lives of our children beyond what we have thus far been able to provide. In the last few years, educators have realized that the STEM philosophy of education promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics…was missing a critical element,Art---fine arts, music and movement.


Research has shown music and music making promote brain development, language, emotional well-being, motor and social skills. Similarly, the fine arts benefit child development by providing opportunities for creativity and building self- esteem. In acknowledgment of the importance of these disciplines to the development of the whole child and to their approach to the sciences, ‘art’ was added to the STEM programs, hence STEAM was born. In light of this research, and what many of us knew to be true all along, we determined we needed to provide our children with more purposeful music and art programs.

We looked into a several music programs and decided the Musikgarten curriculum would best serve the needs of our children. The philosophy of Musikgarten states: Music is for all children and that all children are musical. The creators of the curriculum believe all children are born with an inner sense of rhythm and pitch. Through singing, movement, poetry, story and rhythm instruments children develop a love of music, an outlet for energy and emotion and opportunities for creativity. As children grow in the program they are introduced to a musical vocabulary and develop a lifelong relationship with the music.

Over the last several weeks, Sarah Gilmore, who has been singing with the children for a couple of years already, and I have taken the courses required for licensing as Musikgarten teachers. The training is thorough and the materials are well thought-out and organized. Sarah has already begun to try out some of the songs and rhythm patterns, and the children are loving it. The Musikgarten classes are designed for parent and child, but we are adapting them for our situation at VICCC. The classroom teachers will fill in for the parent and caregiver, and our parents will be given recordings of the music to play and enjoy with their children.


In addition to the music program, I have also been designing a more purposeful art program. The goal of the art program is to provide experiences with a wide variety of media, introduce language to talk about art, develop
their observational skills, building self-esteem and confidence to express themselves. With that in mind
we will be emphasizing process and play over product. By restoring the rightful place of art and music to children’s lives, students are given opportunities to be creative, become more confident, to think critically and provides a foundation on which children can build academically. Obviously, we would like this program to continue into the future.

Bob’s generous gift is enabling us to train and purchase materials for the parents as well as the school. If
you would like to contribute to sustaining these programs, we would be most grateful.

Bequest Report:




  • Sarah doing a great job!!!!

  • Gifted teach, good rapport with children and teachers

  • Teaching Thursdays and Fridays

  • I observe occasionally to keep abreast of what she’s doing so I can sub

  • Materials have arrived: jingle bells, drums, hoops, resonator bars, scarves

    • Noticing children absorbing music, and teachers reinforcing songs and fingerplays.

    • Children singing parts of songs

    • Acting out motions… bouncing and tapping

    • Teachers singing the songs and playing the CDs

    • I assume CDs have been sent home to parents with a letter from Sarah about Musikgarten

    • Interesting to watch some of the non-verbal children beginning to say single words 



    • With babies and possibly toddlers on Tuesdays

      • Beginning to recognize some gifts emerging even in infants:

        • Damien loves to put things inside other things and will try to figure out how to get things out of a box without asking for help

      • Most successful times are working with manipulatives

        • Paper tubs, boxes, baskets and bags

        • Clothespins in bottles

    • 3 and 4 year old and PKs on Wednesday

      • All of them have opportunities offered by their teachers to paint and color

      • Some variation depending on when children go outside 

      • Delighted to see teachers doing a lot of creative things on their own…. Pinterest probably 

      • Several days with spiders, read Be Nice to Spiders, Are you a Spider? and Seaver, the Weaver

        • Made spiders, made webs, made webs…sort of…




Have been including different media: Clay, shaving crème, 

Craypas, as well as paint of various kinds. The teachers do a lot with paint and

playdough I am reluctant to use the term “lesson”, since that implies the children

will learn something. Most of the classes are experiential, as you would expect

with Process Art: 

Process art allows children to engage in creative expression that focuses on a

student’s exploration and experience: 

There are no step-by-step instructions.

There is no example for children to follow.                           

The art is entirely the children’s own.                                        

There is no right or wrong way to explore and create          

The art focuses on the experience.                                        

Art is about the exploration of techniques, tools, and materials.  

The art is unique and original.                                              

The art experience is a child’s choice.

(This article claims that art is relaxing… I find this not to be true with every experience…. Sometimes it’s too exciting to be relaxing.

Some classes work and some don’t 

  • Sometimes it’s because of the way it’s presented 

  • Or the mood of the children…or me, perhaps

  • Or requires more development than all the children have

  • Some children will be really engaged and could continue for another 10-20 minutes… some never enter in

  • Need to always have something for everyone


Hopes for the future: 

  • Installing Little Library this month

  • Having a designated art space in each room

  • Introducing a Friday music event with Theresa Ehrlich

  • Introducing Artist of the Month (Maybe in January)

  • Developing playground… adding art and music… and maybe a road for tricycles 

  • Chalk board inspirational quotes for music and art


Being here at VICCC with dedicated teachers and staff and surrounded by the most amazing little ones continues to be a gift. Thank you.