If you don’t deem yourself a particularly creative person, you may take for granted the ways in which creativity is crucial in our world.
Perhaps you see it as frivolous child’s play in which only a privileged part of the population can partake. But this couldn’t be further from the truth.
The creative process is the same as any process. It requires time, work, and effort. Sometimes a lot of it. And absolutely anyone can be creative.
What Does Embracing Creativity Look Like?
Many of us haven’t dabbled in artful creativity since we were children. So it can indeed seem inconsequential. But creativity isn’t just about being able to draw a picture, sing a song, or make a sculpture.
Creativity takes many forms. Yes, there’s the technical proficiency required to move a paintbrush in the right way or to maintain perfect pitch. But it’s SO much bigger than that.
It’s behind the way one chooses to express their inner thoughts and then share them with the world through a medium; the fluidity of words on a page and the voice that drives it; the energy behind choosing a color palette; the emotion that excludes from a dance or music performance.
And it’s not just the domain of “artists.” Creativity is crucial to the engineer seeking a solution; to the mathematician approaching a difficult formula; to the historian seeking both sides of a story; and to the scientist creating a hypothesis and diving into an experiment.
Why Creativity Is Crucial
At the heart of all innovation is creativity. Thus, it seems that stressing the importance of creativity should be part and parcel of every successful curriculum.
Yet, research shows that creativity has decreased among American children in the past decade. With education increasingly focusing on high test scores and STEM subjects, children are less encouraged to produce unique and unusual ideas. They are not as quickly able to grasp humor and imagination. And they find it difficult to elaborate on ideas that their peers of ten years ago could with ease.
This is a mistake.
Today’s children will need to be able to function in collaborative groups as adults. The global economy will be reliant on how well they are able to innovate while expressing creativity, ideas, and ingenuity of thought. So teaching them to develop these skills now is critical.
Bolstering a creative mind early, then continuing to support its development as a student moves through cognitive maturation is one of the goals of arts-academy middle schools and high schools. Unlike with conventional schools, arts-integrated education puts an emphasis on students stretching their minds, thinking outside the box, and taking risks.
How Arts-Integrated Education Fosters Creativity
Understanding the inherent importance of creativity across all disciplines, arts-integrated educators stress certain essential steps of the creative process to their students:
Practice is key to success in any endeavor. Musicians, actors, and dancers rehearse over and over again. Fine artists spend hours in the studio mastering techniques. Writers commit to sitting down and working at their craft. All in the name of becoming more skillful, adept, and proficient.
But practicing isn’t worth much if it doesn’t include perseverance. Students learn quickly that they can’t back down when the going gets rough. Furthermore, getting out of one’s comfort zone, stumbling, and even failing are sometimes necessary. True innovation often rises out of mistakes. To reach one’s full creative potential means pressing on – no matter what.
Of course, all of the above sounds great on paper. But when the going truly gets rough and the failures and mistakes start mounting up, it can be hard to remain hopeful and muster up that perseverance. It’s at these times that patience is essential.
When students are stuck in a creative slump, they’re encouraged to go back into their journals, sketchbooks, or notes and see if there isn’t something there worth revisiting. Educators may suggest students head to an art gallery or museum, catch a performance, or even try their hand at a different medium to find inspiration. All of this is done in the spirit of being patient and open where they are in the process.
Of course, creativity is borne out of perception. As such, students are taught the basics of what it means to be both a careful observer and an active listener. Students begin to notice light and shadows, complex patterns, various shades of colors, the quality of different sounds, fluidity of motion – the list goes on and on.
These are important because, first, every moment has the ability to be transformed into a work of art. But even more importantly, the way the students experience these interactions becomes a part of who they are and how they choose to express themselves creatively.
Give Your Child the Creative Edge
If your child works best in an artistic environment, then they would thrive in an arts academy middle school, or high school.
At Arts Academy in the Woods, we understand that fostering creativity is crucial for every one of our student’s future success. So contact us today to take a tour of our school.
And prepare for possibility.