Encouraging Your Daughter’s Artistic Voice

Meg Persinger Brock ’79
Voices. They can be spoken softly, they can be shouted loudly. A voice can be persuasive and influential, radiating positivity to the masses. Conversely, a voice can be an undercurrent that spurs an uprising of massive negativity. It is up to you to choose how to express yourself.

In art, voices are a critical component to the creative process. We talk about art. We analyze, critique, revise, and produce a product that evokes feelings and emotion. At GPS, our program allows us that opportunity. In all of our fine and performing arts classes, we encourage students to search for the individual voice in the work they produce, to appreciate and raise up their own voices and the voices of their peers. It doesn’t matter the stage or platform we find ourselves on; art is an unselfish exhibition of one’s own character laid forth for others to see. We listen.

Encouraging that artistic voice within your daughter will help her build confidence, and in doing so, she may just find a new passion! Consider the following tips to help her find her inner Georgia O’Keeffe.
  1.  Have art supplies readily available for her to access.
  2.  Let her see you being creative.
  3.  Take her to art galleries and talk about public art you experience.
  4.  When she’s being creative, try not to coach or offer too much feedback. Let her express herself however she chooses.
  5.  Find opportunities to attend both professional and amateur performances. Both can be inspiring.
We witness individual voices of the students as commentary for what they are thinking, for what they are feeling, for what they want to share with an audience—whether in our GPS community or the greater public. I had the opportunity to hear the voices of four courageous GPS students who applied for the Fletcher W. Bright Fellowship for Inspiring Artistic & Community Engagement. These young ladies took a personal risk by researching, devising, composing, and explaining their well-thought out projects to three dynamic female judges for the fellowship. These adjudicators, leaders in the greater Chattanooga community and beyond, engage every day in philanthropic endeavors, guide artistic decisions for our city, and unselfishly give of themselves because they believe in strong female voices. Our judges believed in each of our students, listening deeply to what the girls had to say; if our judges could have given the award to each of the four students, they would have. They were that impressed with the voices our girls have developed. Strong, good, kind voices with the spirit of giving back as the foundation for their endeavors. (Read here about the winner!)

You will find individual and collective voices in dance studios, visual art classrooms, theatrical productions, and choral and instrumental music spaces. Voices that long to be heard, should be heard, and most certainly deserve to be heard. Students’ artwork is prominently placed in the Frierson Lobby and all around school; each year we present Middle and Upper School dance performances, Terpsichord concerts, instrumental and choral concerts, and the epic musical production each springOn the McCallie campus, our girls will take part in Middle School and Upper School drama productions and Candlelight near the holiday. 

In all fine and performing arts areas, our students share their passions, their hearts and souls, their voices. Make plans to attend one, any, or all of the exciting events. Come see the art displayed. You will definitely be inspired by the young women’s voices sharing what they have to say.