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Art to foster and support wellbeing

Art washes from the soul the dust of everyday life.

Pablo Picasso

Neuroscience research and the study of neuroaesthetics reveals the transformative impact of the arts on wellbeing, mental health and healing. 

The studies are showing that engaging in art activities develops and stimulates our senses and integrates our minds and bodies. Mental health issues, stress, learning disorders and even physical concerns can be positively addressed through participation in the arts. 

Practical Ways to Integrate Art Into your Class Teaching

Wellbeing Through the Arts is a course that invites you to explore for yourself the therapeutic value of working with a range of artistic modalities. Although not a formal art therapy training, it offers an experiential framework for wellbeing, based upon tools used in Steiner/Waldorf education.  

If you are a teacher or educator, you may experience healing benefits for yourself and find ways to offer similar experiences to students. This practical online course is for everyone -- educators, school counsellors, therapists, and those working with children or adults -- and requires no prior experience or specialist education.

Below are the different artistic practices that will be offered.

Clay Modelling – the calming and centring effects of clay

Clay is a formative, forgiving and therapeutic material, ideal for working with the dissociating forces that stress imposes.  Working with clay builds will-capacity and resilience with nourishing and healing benefits

Clay modelling, works on human development in many ways, and provides our senses with a rich experience, enhancing our abilities on a physical, emotional, and cognitive level, while bringing balance, agency and integration to our thoughts, feelings, and actions.

Its potential gives us joy by extending our current capabilities, teaching us about ourselves and enhancing our will to accomplish and complete tasks.

Nature Observations – art inspired by nature

In nature we never see anything isolated, but everything in connection with something else which is before it, beside it, under it and over it.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When we observe nature closely and quietly, we experience its beauty and wisdom. Developing presence and phenomenological skills allows us to bring depth to our observations.  Working with this method of observation – which includes drawing, painting, and clay modelling – enlivens our senses, our feeling life, thinking and memory, thus forming and strengthening our inner being.

Form Drawing

Form drawing has been said to be:

movement made visible… reflections and rotations, geometric figures and intricate interlaced designs illustrating beauty, harmony and balance…

Rosemary Gebert

Form drawing is as much a process as it is an art form. In form drawing we work with the movement and polarity of the straight and the curved line and the positive and negative spaces in between, creating the plane.

As a therapeutic practice, form drawing supports visual motor integration, spatial intelligence, development of divergent thinking and social-emotional skills. Drawing archetypal forms aids to balancing one’s own nature.  It encourages thinking, feeling and will development, and it works deeply on our multi-sensory development, in particular the four lower senses: the sense of touch, sense of life, sense of movement, and balance. The benefits to children are manifold and include the experiences of crossing the midline, and as a precursor or support for writing.

Drawing and Watercolour Painting

Working with colour affects our moods, feelings, our sense of wellbeing and even our health.  It can nourish our sense of sight and stimulate mobility in mental imagery.   We can create dynamic drawings or paintings or calming ones depending on our use of colour and composition. There is delight in working with colour, in the movement of paint gliding across the page, and finding form in the brushstrokes.

Wellbeing through The Arts is a two-term online course, each term is seven sessions, on Monday evenings from 7-8.30pm. You can register and find out more HERE.

The tutor of this course Wellbeing Through the Arts is Tania Hungerford.  She has trained teachers at the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar for over 20 years across a range of courses and subjects, bringing a depth of experience working out of education, art and anthroposophy.  She has worked as a sculptor, maker and ceramic artist, as well as a workshop facilitator and tutor for most of her adult life.  She draws on a comprehensive background of training in the areas of counselling and art therapy, sculpture, functional ceramics, phenomenological nature observation, anthroposophy, and Steiner education.  In the Advanced Diploma of Rudolf Steiner Education course she develops inclusive teaching practices for working with children with special learning needs.  She also teaches communication and conflict resolution, and understanding and working with trauma.

Over the past decade Tania has offered many professional development programs to teachers in schools around Australia and in Asia. Tania has qualifications including a Masters of Therapeutic Arts Practice; Bachelor of Social Science/Counselling; Grad Diploma in Experiential and Creative Art; Advanced Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education; Certificate in Biography Counselling; Certificate of Training and Assessment.

About the Melbourne Rudolf Steiner Seminar

The Seminar has been offering teacher and adult education and transformative personal development courses for over 50 years to local and international students.

It is a registered training organisation offering an Advanced Diploma in Rudolf Steiner Education, accredited as a university pathway toward a Bachelor of Education. 

The Seminar also provides professional development part-time online courses for teachers, therapists, parents and anyone working with children.

Our vision is to support healthy human development through education, based upon Dr. Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophical insights, as a way of contributing to ethical social renewal and a sustainable future.

Contact us at [email protected], or call (03) 9876 5199.

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