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Creativity in Performance Arts Ilil Keren, Israel Susan Young, UK Creativity in Performance Arts Ilil Keren, Israel Susan Young, UK

Current practice in music Ø Dominated by group singing of songs – led by Current practice in music Ø Dominated by group singing of songs – led by the teacher (in Israel and in the UK) UK Foundation Stage Curriculum ‘creativity’ strand includes music, but the activities are described include ‘sing a number of songs from memory’, ‘recognise rhythms’ Ø Expectations of who is creative? – more required of adult than children Ø

Children’s own music-making Ø In other domains – e. g. children’s art - interest Children’s own music-making Ø In other domains – e. g. children’s art - interest over a long period of time in processes of children’s own art-making Ø In music – interest in how children learn to reproduce music with increasing accuracy, but very little research in to their own, selfinitiated music-making Ø Very little influence on models of practice

Why do music? Ø Ø Ø Ø It encourages self esteem It’s fun Develops Why do music? Ø Ø Ø Ø It encourages self esteem It’s fun Develops listening skills It crosses boundaries Wow! moments Indoors and outdoors Children can let their hair down and make lots of noise Can explore emotions Links to other areas of learning Risk taking and experimenting Identifying talents Life pleasure Nurtures a sense of togetherness A form of expression Ø Ø Ø Ø Can be mood enhancing Experimenting and making noise Social – turn-taking As a group, individually – Can be accessed on many levels Encourages creativity Self-expression Sustainable – spontaneous, doesn’t need special equipment Joy of doing and creating together Can happen anywhere Represents ideas Laughter Sharing and inclusive Helps develop relationships

‘nice but not necessary’ (Eisner, 2002) Ø Awareness of music as something you do ‘nice but not necessary’ (Eisner, 2002) Ø Awareness of music as something you do - Affective involvement - Social processes - Transferable benefits - Centrality of listening - Potentially creative (creativity is there!) Ø But nothing more substantial about thinking, understanding, learning, imagining? Ø Lack of models for articulating thinking and learning in the arts in early years education

Why might that be? Ø Notions of learning tend to focus on learning about Why might that be? Ø Notions of learning tend to focus on learning about ‘things’, fixed, concrete, visual and symbolising, naming, talking about them Ø Objectification of music in Western theory – as rhythms, pitches – ‘things to learn’ [but only really for those who have ‘musical ability’] Ø EC practice recognises non-objective, ‘nice’ aspects of learning – affective, social, pleasurable but these tend to be vague. Ø Versions of practice from Reggio Emilia have been helpful – but still tends to be focussed on visual, static, symbolic Ø Non-concrete, time-based, multi-modal, polysemic, dynamic learning (as in performance arts of dance, music, drama) – not articulated in curricula (and doesn’t result in solid product)

Musical creativity As co-created between children and adult, children and children Ø Children offered Musical creativity As co-created between children and adult, children and children Ø Children offered starting points Ø Situations in which possibilities can flourish Ø Adult responds musically to what children offer – accepts on their terms, extends, elaborates Ø Listening both inside and outside the music as made Ø

‘Necessary’ Time-based, temporal structure – to discriminate and order events over time (unfolding, dynamic ‘Necessary’ Time-based, temporal structure – to discriminate and order events over time (unfolding, dynamic contours, chunking, anticipation and predictability) Ø Shaping performance ideas to be intentionally communicative and expressive – but meanings are polysemic Ø Develops imagination, empathy, sense of fun Ø Offers experiences that are aesthetic, uplifting Ø