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By: Leonora Langley

Let the Souls of Our Children Sing

Pages: 152 Ratings: 5.0
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As the stigma and taboos around mental health issues soften, unparalleled numbers of people are seeking counselling, psychotherapy and life coaching. Millions of viewers are transfixed to the emotional traumas played out in reality TV shows, soaps and dramas such as Homecoming, The Bodyguard and Wanderlust. As part of this awakening to the importance of emotional well-being, many parents, educators and carers of the young are bravely attending to their own wounds and are now more determined than ever to mitigate the wounding of the children in their care.

Langley believes that the greatest impediment to young people's development as free-thinking, spiritually-enlightened and emotionally-responsive, integrated human beings is that mainstream education is still based on a nineteenth-century model emphasising cognition and logic, which can be counted and measured, over the enrichment of children's souls which is beyond measure. The existing anachronistic structure desperately needs a new paradigm. At a time when arts education is seen as an increasingly marginal activity in state schooling, she argues that it is only by putting children's innate creativity and curiosity at the heart of our educational mission that we can hope to re-engage the vast number of young people switched off from the current system and avoid the poverty of imagination and the absence of hope which are the root causes of so many contemporary ills.

Leonora Langley has divided her professional life between education and journalism, beginning as a teacher in the 1970s. In the 1980s she became increasingly active as a journalist and in 1984 she moved to the USA, where she created and for four years edited a lifestyle magazine for The Hollywood Reporter. From 1988, she was the first west-coast editor of the US edition of Elle magazine and became a regular contributor to Bon Appetit magazine. Returning to the UK in the 1990s, she resumed teaching, specialising in music, English and drama, in the process liaising with world-class organisations such as Glyndebourne Opera. More recently, she has qualified as a counsellor and, through the aegis of music in her role as a piano tutor, she has facilitated an outlet for her students’ emotions. Leonora Langley is a Licentiate of the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, an Associate of the New Era Academy of Drama and Music and her M.A. explored aesthetics in relation to drama in education.

Customer Reviews
17 reviews
17 reviews
  • Jojo ( )

    We reviewed this book on our on line magazine as one of our top 5 holiday reads:

    "LET THE SOULS OF OUR CHILDREN SING by teacher and Journalist LEONORA LANGLEY is a must read for any parent, or teacher in an educational establishment. LANGLEY explores the increasing emphasis and value we place as a society on academic development at the detriment of creative exploration both in educational surroundings and at home. Could this be the link to the mental health epidemic in young people today ? How do we navigate our children's development to ensure their needs are being listened to and their specialities are being discovered and nurtured. Are creative children happier children ? I would definitely recommend this book if you are responsible for children in any way. You can really make a difference to a child's wellbeing , 140 pages long, set aside a weekend. A small book with a big message !! "

  • Sophie Turpin

    A most insightful book for all future and existing parents and educators. I have read many similar books, all have been excellent with invaluable advice on how to understand and embrace the marvellous dynamics of raising a child. This book is in a totally different league and is a pure jewel. Leonora takes the 'tough love' concept to a deep, emotional level. A real eye and mind opener and a definite must-read.

  • Doreen Foulser

    This book covers a highly pertinent subject in relation to children's educational upbringing and the rise in mental health problems amongst the young.
    The book is thought provoking in the issues it raises and offers solutions to a better way. The Author uses her detailed knowledge and experience as a long serving teacher, journalist, counsellor and indeed mother, to offer a compelling
    analysis of a system that has apparently only changed marginally in over 100 years.
    All persons with the vital responsibility for the education and wellbeing of children, would find this sets the mind in motion to finding a route to a fulfilling life for future generations.

  • Anita Gilson

    Let the Souls of Our Children Sing' by Leonora Langley is an inspiration. Easy to read and fascinating, it puts forward ground-breaking ideas to help free parents from the constant anxiety that their children will not keep up, instilling fear and repression rather than developing an enjoyable and meaningful relationship with them. In the same down-to-earth way, Leonora Langley shines like a beacon of light into the darkness regarding mainstream education. She describes how schools can be places of drudgery that force children into a narrow, rigid straitjacket destroying their innate curiosity and creativity by overburdening them with constant testing and mounds of homework which crushes their individuality, feelings, and emotions.

  • Brian Foulser

    The Mental well-being of Children should be paramount
    A really thought-provoking book that captures the essence of one of the most important concerns facing parents and teachers, 'the emotional and mental wellbeing of children'. This is a little book with a big message that will encourage the reader to question some of the accepted practices currently employed in the education and essential nurturing of our children.
    It will undoubtedly stimulate the thought process of all those with the responsibility for developing future generations who will determine the the kind of world we live in.

  • Sophie Ronnet

    The book of the decade.
    To any keen reader on the topic of helping children to blossom and find self-fulfilment, this is the book of the decade.
    Forget about those guides attempting to 'manufacture a happy child', this ground-breaking book goes way beyond that and is a must-read.

  • Miss F Webster

    A Powerful and Inspirational Read!

    As a teacher, I am all too familiar with the pressures and constraints of our current education system. This book has inspired me to take a step back and reconsider my approach within my own classroom. The chapters are packed with ideas and alternative approaches that put creativity and imagination at the centre of learning, nurturing children's souls. Langley cites plenty of practical ideas, along with theories and approaches to education, that teachers and educational advisers can put into practice immediately. Some of the suggestions, however, would require a whole-school approach or reforms to our education system as a whole. I truly hope that we can look forward to a future where these practices are the foundation of our education system, making learning a joyful process of exploration and discovery, giving children the opportunity to fully develop as creative, confident and emotionally intelligent individuals. I loved this book and highly recommend it.

  • Kindle Customer

    A must-read book with love at its heart for all who care about children and learning.
    Every sentence, every paragraph is a gem. Let's make sure this becomes part of the teacher training experience in all our universities and schools. It must become a handbook for home educators.
    Thank you Leonora Langley for this gift of a book.
    Elizabeth Coleman-Ainley retired secondary school headteacher and university lecturer in special needs and school management.

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