In recognition of October being Drug Abuse Awareness Month, the Crescenta Valley Drug and Alcohol Prevention Coalition has collaborated with its strategic partners, The CV Weekly and performing arts instructors to deliver a message promoting healthy lifestyles.
By Joe ALLEN
Father of three
I am father of three children, each different in their interests, each with their own circle of friends and influences. Each has been motivated and sought confidence, self-esteem, inspiration from different activities, and each have bright futures ahead of them.
As the oldest of three kids in a family myself, I was keenly aware that we were each different in what stimulated our creativity, affected us positively, and developed our resolve to lead productive lives.
As a parent, I know that what works for one child would not necessarily work for the other. My oldest son, just shy of his 22nd birthday, tried soccer, T-ball, karate, basketball camp and BMX racing, each short lived and each lacking the emotional impact to influence his life. In school, he struggled with the structure. Although intelligent in the subject matter, he resented the day-to-day class work. In his young teens, he picked up the guitar. He had lessons at Grayson’s Tunetown in Montrose, a passion was ignited, and a gift was realized. He excelled in music. He eventually taught himself piano and drums.
The foundation of his confidence and self-esteem was from the fine arts that would come to serve him well.
My daughter, having just turned 21 years old, is full of life, bubbling with enthusiasm, a friend to everyone. She wasn’t a great student in school, but she did well. Her outlet for the love of life she always exuded was dance! She took lessons at a local dance studio, entered competitions in group categories and solo events. She now teaches dance and choreography. Her ability to express herself, to excel in an area of such difficulty and competition was instrumental in helping her to mature.
Those opportunities for learning and expressing one’s self are available to families and individuals right here in Montrose!
Julie Kay, owner and instructor of Revolution Dance Center, has a popular and growing business in Montrose. She told me there are hundreds of kids enrolled in a variety of disciplines of dance at her studio and she sees the benefits of practice, performance and pride in the behavior and demeanor of the kids every day. She says that in her youth, dance, song and acting filled the space in her life that school wasn’t providing. Her mother enrolled her in fine arts education and that gave her the foundation to do what she is doing now – instructing a new generation in an art form that develops confidence and pride.
Ken Grayson, second-generation owner of Grayson’s Tunetown, says that over 75,000 young students have taken music lessons at the store in the 60 years they have been in business. He says music allows a person to experience more in life! Hector Del Angel, an instructor at the music store since 1998, says he sees a young student exhibit self-expression, pride, focus and patience. These attributes allow them to be self-rewarding in an accomplishment.
Be it, sports or fine arts, the lessons are the same: A genuine effort given to an activity that in turn allows for personal growth, development of confidence, pride and self-esteem will empower our youth to lead healthy and happy lives.
Oh, my youngest at 10 years old, is an avid baseball player but has already started forming a rock band of fellow schoolmates. I wish them well!