Download Digital Piano Sheet Music Worldwide
Gift Cards 0

Allow space for kids to be creative in education system.

Mizue Murakami

Kids in art class drawing

More than 100 years or so, the education system in the world has been focusing on the hard skills (academics, memorizing facts, skills for labor force). And it has been suppressing and discouraging creativity, the soft skills. In music education, it's been the same. Very little empathy, emotions, and unique ideas and styles. Close to none. But kids are all creative inside, to begin with. There is no such kid as a non-creative kid. They were all born to be creative. It's just that some are more oppressed. Therefore, they don't nurture their creativity. They don't even allow themselves to be creative.

I see a lot of music teachers' profiles saying, "We offer fun lessons! Come on in and sign up!." Teachers are even trying to give and show what is "fun." Kids already know what's fun. They can come up with a lot of interesting ideas everyday. I understand that teachers need to give students structures along with disciplines and important basics. However, when it comes to creativity, I feel that teachers need to use a different approach. First, we (all adults and teachers) need to give a lot of freedom and safe space for them to feel absolutely OK to be creative without any judgment. Most kids in the world don't have that space. So it's going to take some time for the kids to trust that new allowed space to be creative in. But if you persistently create this safe space for kids for their creativity, amazing things slowly emerge. You'll be surprised how talented and creative these kids are, your sons and daughters are, your students are already.

I've been teaching piano and music in the Seattle metropolitan area for more than two decades now. I like to give this kind of creative space for my students (especially younger students) instead of always "giving" instructions or "telling" what they need to work on. Once kids have space to explore and be creative, they find out what they need from their experience through their creativity. And they become willing to do some boring piano exercises (for example). They realize that they need to get through these exercises to create what they are trying to express in the music. They would want those skills (hard skills). They know why they need it, for what, where to apply it on. But it first has to start from soft skill. And the soft skill will motive them to connect to the hard skill.

Hard skills are easy to obtain once you are determined to get it. But the soft skill is delicate and subtle. And it requires patience. First, they need to use soft skill (creativity) to explore, experiment, and experience. Then, everything makes sense to the kids mentally, emotionally, and physically using their senses. We can't just drop all the hard-skill training on the kids' laps without nurturing and developing the soft skills; creativity, empathy, emotions, uniqueness, and sensory development.

If you are a parent, music teacher or any kind of teacher educating young students, I encourage you to be very patient with this process of creating a safe, positive space for kids' creativity with no judgment. It is worth it.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment