Arts Short #1

I’ve decided to do a little series of blogs based on a blog I read by Lisa Phillips.  Here’s the link: http://blog.artsusa.org/2012/11/26/the-top-10-skills-children-learn-from-the-arts/

Brought to my attention by my mother, this post gives brief, yet specific, comments on ten skills children learn from the arts.

In this series, I’ll fill in my own experiences, ideas, thoughts, etc. that occurred to me as I read this post.  I hope you will comment with your input as well.  (As mentioned on my about page, I want this blog to be a conversation, not a diary.)

Here is the first part of the post:

1. Creativity – Being able to think on your feet, approach tasks from different perspectives and think ‘outside of the box’ will distinguish your child from others. In an arts program, your child will be asked to recite a monologue in 6 different ways, create a painting that represents a memory, or compose a new rhythm to enhance a piece of music. If children have practice thinking creatively, it will come naturally to them now and in their future career.

I feel that it is very important to note that creativity is considered a skill in this post.  It is not a tool that is used in the arts; instead it is a byproduct of the arts.  How cool is that?!  That means creativity is valuable in other parts of life.  You may say, “Well, duh!” but when was the last time you thought about the importance of creativity in playing basketball, washing dishes, or going to sleep at night.  These are all things we may think we know how to do instinctively or learn how to do because there is only one right way.  What if we started thinking creatively about basketball?  “What practicing strategies work best for me? other players?” How about dishes?  “What is the most efficient way to do this?”  “Are there equally efficient ways that work for people with different skill sets?”  Going to sleep? How about:  “How can I relax my body after a stressful day?” “Can I use the same techniques to de-stress during the day without falling asleep?”  Even crazier questions start popping up now: “How can I use my relaxation techniques to help me improve in basketball or washing dishes?”  It’s not as crazy as it sounds if you open your mind.

What about the monologue assignment referred to in the post?

Read this blog with an angry voice…sad voice…sick voice (pick your poison)…scary voice…cheerleader voice…newscaster voice.  Whoa!  Now, I’m not saying any of that changes the meaning of this blog, but I’m saying that was probably pretty fun.  Now, to all my Toastmasters readers, how does that change how you speak? how you listen?  How does it change your options when you’re writing speeches?

I love the wording this writer uses: “a painting that represents a memory.”  How much can you’re tone of voice change the way you know and learn?

How does the amount of positive or negative energy you put into the things you do affect your daily thoughts?

How well do you listen?  Does your listening inspire you?  Do you learn from all your observations…better yet, CAN you learn from all your observations?

Really, now, what is creativity to you?  If you think you aren’t creative, think again.  You’re artistic or musical ability have nothing to do with it…(in fact, I know some musicians who are not creative with their music-making).  I would even go so far as to say, if you’re not being creative, you’re not thinking.  Your ideas matter because you live in a world where intangible imagination becomes tangible success.  Don’t take other people’s imagination for granted.  Take it as an opportunity to start imagining.

(Yes, I am completely aware that I sound like a fortune cookie…and I like it that way.)

Moral of the story: The arts do not require creativity, they produce it.  Creativity produces personal innovation.  Personal innovation produces innovative habits.  Innovative habits produce successful experiences.  Let your children be successful.

Now…explore a world of pure imagination…

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Your turn:

I hope you had a great weekend.  Tell me about your Monday…misery loves company :-p

What are your thoughts on creativity?  Do you have any quirky stories (such as washing dishes relating to basketball)?

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3 thoughts on “Arts Short #1

  1. great post alex! i really enjoyed reading about the different ways to get creative and how if we allow our minds to do this, there will be creativity everywhere! this post made me realize i need to get back to ways of expressing my creative side (not too sure what that means yet but thanks for evoking it) i also appreciated your inclusion of ‘pure imagination.’ i’m off to try and find a chocolate milk river!

    • I’m glad you liked it. Please keep up and stay in the conversation. :-) (Out of all the reasons that I’m happy you read my blog…I’m kind of excited someone in Portland / on the other side of the country read it and liked it.)

  2. Pingback: Arts Short #2 | A Medal and a Mortar Board

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