Doing our job better
Two weeks ago I attended the National Guild for Community Arts Education Conference in San Francisco (same day as the world series parade!). I left four days later with a head bursting with so many great ideas to put into practice. I was totally overwhelmed.
It’s not that we are doing anything wrong. And I use “we” collectively – those of us in the arts education world. But are we ensuring that students really experience the essence of what the arts are about? Students of all ages, abilities and interests?
What I’m referring to is creativity. I’m studying and reflecting on how creativity occurs in our school. Or is it? So often, our discipline requires students to drill, practice repeatedly and endlessly the same parts, memorizing, and other learning skills that are just that – skills. I ask, where is the creativity? How can we inject creativity into our everyday lives so looking at the world in new ways becomes an everyday process that then easily translates into our arts learning?
What if you asked your students (and yourself!) to :
listen for a new sound every day
play your instrument in a new way every day
look for a new shape every day
try to move your body in a new way every day
A creative person is one that is adaptable, accepting, open and inspiring. These are traits that are essential in the 21st century marketplace and what our future leaders should possess to create a world that lifts us up to new frontiers that we face. And teaching the arts effectively will help us in this process as well as make the journey a fun ride!
Now if I can just figure out this sustainability thing…..